The Skeptical Christian Limping to the Finish Line

hayleylepugh asked a question:

What do you mean by skeptical Christian in your description? Don’t you have strong faith? (I’m not asking this in a rude way, I’m just genuinely curious.)

Hey my dear friend, I was an atheist for longer than I’ve been a Christian, so my natural default mode is to doubt, a lot.  There are days I think this whole faith thing is crazy and I want to throw the Bible in the trash.  I’m sorry if that’s too candid or honest.  But it’s one of those things in the church we just don’t talk about, and I’m learning I’m not alone.  It’s the entire point of this blog.

When Moses parted the Red Sea, I’m sure there were Israelites saying “In your face you Egyptians!” — but then another group was screaming the entire way through.  Yet they all made it by grace.  I’m one of the screamers.

I’m not endorsing a halfway lukewarm faith.  I believe God wants us to have a robust, vibrant, thriving relationship with Him.  But at least for me, I’ll be limping to the finish-line.  I’m more Peter than Paul.  I’m more Martha than Mary.  I’m more David than Daniel.

I’ve found that the object of my faith is more important than my amount of faith.  I need a strong branch, not the strongest grip.  I hope to have both one day, but for now, I don’t want to pressure myself into a frenzy of belief if that will only make me more anxious.  I believe God understands the tempo of each human heart, and He’s willing to work with us, whether we’re like the triumphant Israelite or doubtful Thomas.

One verse that has comforted me is Revelation 3:8, in which Jesus says:

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

Jesus is speaking to a particular church that is weary to the point of giving up.  But he’s saying, “I’m a door and I’ll always be open to you,” and he commends them because they “have not denied my name.”  This is the kind of Christian I am.  Most days I’m weary, barely holding on, fighting doubt by my fingernails, but I have not yet denied his name.  I don’t say that to sound “relevant” or “cool,” because honestly, I don’t wish this kind of doubting faith on anyone.  I want to believe harder, but most days I can’t.  It’s not easy to have faith the size of a mustard seed.  But Jesus promised that this would be enough to move mountains, and I’m learning to be okay with that.  I will limp with Him to the end.

— J.S.

10 thoughts on “The Skeptical Christian Limping to the Finish Line

  1. “When Moses parted the Red Sea, I’m sure there were Israelites saying “In your face you Egyptians!” — but then another group was screaming the entire way through. Yet they all made it by grace. I’m one of the screamers.” So good.


    1. Just to give credit where it’s due, this was partially inspired by Timothy Keller’s sermon on Moses vs. the Red Sea. One of my favorite sermons of all time, I always weep near the end meditating on His grace.


  2. This is so important, because many of us have taught ourselves to be afraid to recognize our own brokenness. Trusting God is hard to do, and I doubt myself and my Father all the time. But, at the same time, I know that a life without Christ is a life I don’t want. I’d rather die than live without Christ, as tenuous as my grip is on him, because in him I find true joy. Is God upset with me for doubting? Probably not, because he sent Christ to deliver me before I’d ever had a chance to trust him. Doubt isn’t what he wants for me, certainly, but doubt is also far less powerful than the completed work of Christ. I will continue seeking God in his creation, stumbling, panicking, getting back up, and repeating, until he finally reveals himself to me as Creator.

    Thanks for your authenticity.


  3. Love this post, sir. 🙂 I’ve been a Christian my entire 21 years. I grew up in the Christian community and knew nothing else. However I’ve recently been struggling with a big, black, threatening cloud of doubt. It’s so good to hear this topic explained like this from the Christian perspective, and written so eloquently to boot! 🙂 God bless you!


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