Doubt


A while back, a young salesman knocked on our front door and asked if I had ever considered installing new windows, enclosing the soffits, or replacing the siding on our house aging house. In one of those moments that made me regret my honesty I acknowledge giving thought to such projects in the past, but quickly added that I was in no position to do so at this time.

Unfortunately, my attempt to deter any further discussion of the topic proved fruitless. When the young salesman proceeded to ask what kept me from doing those projects, I replied, “money" and without missing a beat, he launched into a spiel about, the efficiency of the windows, the value of the siding, and the numerous benefits of enclosed soffits. If nothing else, it was a well rehearsed speech, one I may have believed had he not made a claim that was so unbelievable, it had to be challenged.

In an attempt to “close the deal,” he said without hesitation, “What if I told you, that any of these improvements would pay for themselves in one year?”
After pausing for a moment to reflect on his claim, I simply replied, “I’d have to say that I doubt truly that.”

Though it was probably rude of me to be that blunt with someone who was just trying to do their job, my doubt was not unjustified. His claims were so outrageous I had very good reason to question their accuracy. Sometimes, that’s just what we have to do.

For example, when someone claims we can learn algebra while sleeping, save money by spending, or loose weight by eating fast good, it’s perfectly reasonable to doubt what they are saying. In fact, it would be na├»ve not to; however, that’s not always the case.

On the contrary, sometimes our doubts can be quite irrational. For instance, doubting the safety of a bridge because a road crew is doing repairs, or doubting the faithfulness of God because he didn’t respond the way we wanted. Such doubt is neither justified, nor healthy.

Fortunately, though, doubt is not a sin. As noted Bible scholar, Alister McGrath once explained, “Doubt is natural within faith. It comes because of our human weakness and frailty.” In other words, like pain and suffering, doubt is the result of our brokenness and sin, but it is not a sin and of itself.

At the same time, however, doubt is not what God wants for us. He does not want us to live with uncertainty about his grace, his truth, his forgiveness, and love. He does not want us to live without the hope of healing and salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone.

On the contrary, God wants us to be certain of his care and confident of his promise that nothing will separate us from the love he showed us through his Jesus.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:38-39, English Standard Version