Monday, 13 August 2018
Doubt - this often gets bad press. In one sense, doubt or lack of faith is severely deprecated by the biblical writers of both testaments. We are told not to doubt, that those who doubt will not receive what they ask, that doubters are double-minded; those who doubt are rebuked for their lack of faith. But the story is more nuanced than that.
If you simply doubt, don't have faith and so don't believe, you stand in the way of G-d and block what He wants to do both in your own life and possibly the lives of others. But if you doubt while maintaining faith, so that you ask questions and look for answers and explanations then you are open to being used by G-d in a more powerful way than someone who simply accepts things on faith without bothering to find out what is really going on. Someone who asks questions is engaging with what is going on around them; they are teachable and open, so G-d can use both them and the question opportunity to reach and teach others.
The person who taken as the archetypal doubter is, of course, Thomas the disciple. It is interesting that tradition records that Thomas went the farthest and reached the most people of all the twelve apostles - all the way to India. He asked the questions, had the guts to express his doubt and was rewarded by personal revelation; this motivated Him more than all the other disciples who had not been through that process.
We all need the freedom to ask questions, to get our doubts out into the open and have them allayed and put to rest. Then, inspired by our faith, built up by those answers and the freedom to ask, we can move mountains for G-d!