I Have Doubts: Am I Allowed to Say That?

Anonymous asked a question

Is it unwise to share your doubts with non christians? I don’t think we should make christianity look like you can’t come to Jesus unless you get fixed first bc we should come as we are so He can work and idk that not sharing our doubts with them helps to accomplish that. At the same time what if sharing doubts increases nonbelievers doubts or grievances about God or Christianity?

Hey dear friend, I think it’s not only wise to share your doubts out loud, but it’s imperative that we do so.

We need to ask questions. We need to be open to new ideas. We need our faith deconstructed and challenged once in a while. We all have a particular “box” of faith, and it needs to be under constant renovation. A stale faith will bring about cults, or will rely too much on spoon-feeding, or will never endure the worst trials of our lives.

The thing is, questions will come. Doubts will come. Pain will come. And faith that stays in the same box for years is the kind of faith that eventually collapses under the weight of our denial.

Yes, a few people might take your doubts out of context and say, “Yeah, that’s why I don’t believe that stuff.” That’s fine. Most likely they were going to say that anyway, and you’re not responsible for that person’s journey either.

In my experience, every single person that I’ve shared my doubts with has been receptive. Their response is always, “You too? Thank God.”

I can’t trust someone who has a thriving robust faith all the time. I’m thankful for them. They show me who I want to be. But I find myself unable to talk with them about the harder times or the weirder Bible stuff. They’re always telling me to just “Trust God.” And I’m not there a lot. To be truthful, I’m not there most of the time.

I’ve said this a lot already, but I grew up an atheist. I became a Christian pretty late in life. And I have doubts constantly. I’m a skeptical believer, a faith weakling. I’m always wondering if all this faith stuff is crazy. I work in a hospital and I have plenty of reason to throw my Bible away. Once in a while, I still binge-read atheist books and blogs because I want to examine what I really believe. It’s scary. But if I’m going to believe something, I better know what it’s about and why. That means digging into all the questions and to always remain curious. I know this isn’t healthy for everyone. I have to do it.

In some circles, I know it’s a fashionable thing to say “I’m a doubter.” Apparently everyone wants in on it. It adds a cool backstory or something. But I don’t wish these doubts on anyone. It’s not a fun outfit for an evening. It’s not for social media points. It’s not a bragging right. My faith gets so shaky that it’s unbearable. It’s like an allergy. Allergies are not a fashion trend. They’re inconvenient. They can be awful. And I recognize I’m not alone. I’ve learned that having doubts does not make me a bad person. It only makes me an honest one.

A last thing. If you’re in a community that won’t ask questions, please leave. Find another place. If you decide to stay, then be the one annoying person that airs out your doubts. I’m not saying to be a contrarian for its own sake, or to always be back-and-forth and unresolved. Eventually, of course, we must land on a solid place. But doubt is a part of faith. It’s a part of all healthy groups and interactions and dynamics. The only way through uncertainty is to know we have a certain place we can talk about it.

— J.S.

Photo from Unsplash.

The original post is here. To ask me a question, click here.

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