This has caused me to wonder just how many young people, or anyone for that matter, have left faith because they were discouraged by doubt. How many have we lost who believe faith and doubt were at odds? Isn't it more true to suggest that doubt drives us to deeper faith; that is, when we are able to truly wrestle with and deal honestly with our doubts, we are able to arrive at a deeper, more robust faith?
In Rob Bell's most recent book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, this quote grabbed my attention:
"For many people in our world, the opposite of faith is doubt. The goal, then, within this understanding, is to eliminate doubt. But faith and doubt aren’t opposites. Doubt is often a sign that your faith has a pulse, that it’s alive and well and exploring and searching. Faith and doubt aren’t opposites; they are, it turns out, excellent dance partners."
Doubt is a sign your faith has a pulse.
Doubt and Faith are excellent dance partners.
I find myself agreeing with these notions. I think this will be helpful for students with whom I work. I am reminded of the man who said to Jesus, "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief." Unbelief, doubt, uncertainty - this is where Jesus steps in and moves us, shapes us, changes our hearts and beliefs, our attitudes and understandings.
So why are we so uncomfortable with doubt? Why does it seem so scary?