Being a believer doesn’t mean you never doubt. It does mean you learn to effectively deal with your doubts. Here are three do’s and don’ts for dealing with spiritual doubts.
First, don’t dismiss your doubts. Doubts can prod us to examine our beliefs. That’s a good thing since an unexamined faith is a blind faith. If your beliefs can’t stand up to scrutiny, they’re not worth your loyalty.
Second, dig into your doubts. Jesus encouraged doubters to do some personal investigation. You might remember the story of “Doubting Thomas” who said he wouldn’t believe the reports of Jesus’ resurrection without empirical proof: “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands . . . I will not believe it” (John 20:25). When Jesus met Thomas, He invited him to touch His hands and side (John 20:27).
When I talk with people struggling with doubts about the Christian faith, I encourage them to face their doubts honestly and examine things intentionally. I’m convinced that those who explore the Christian faith will find ample reason to believe that Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
Third, doubts your doubts. It’s important to remember that doubts can be dubious and questions can be questionable. In his best-selling book, The Reason for God, Tim Keller encourages sceptics to “doubt their doubts.” He writes: “My thesis is that if you come to recognize the beliefs on which your doubts about Christianity are based, and if you seek as much proof for those beliefs as you seek from Christians for
theirs – you will discover that your doubts are not as solid as they first appeared.”
If doubts are ignored they can erode faith. But when dealt with, doubts can actually cause faith to grow stronger.