By Les Henson,
Doubt is part of almost every believer’s journey even if we are not invited to express our doubts in the faith community to which we belong. For many believers, it is unthinkable to express our doubts for such behaviour is often looked down upon by fellow believers. As followers of Jesus, we are not allowed to have them or express them. At least that is what we think.
Yet to have doubts is normal and to express them is healthy. A healthy faith community is the one that is open to people’s doubts. How can we grow in the faith unless we openly express and deal with our doubts in the context of an open, caring community of further journeying believers? In reality, not all doubts are bad. There are both good and bad doubts. Good doubts are a normal part of the believer’s journey. They are genuine doubts which, when openly shared and grappled with most often lead to spiritual growth. At the same time, bad doubts are those that stem from stubborn and entrenched unbelief. The same doubts can be positive or negative, good or bad, depending on how we respond and deal with them.
We should ask mature believers within our faith community, whom we trust and respect, to test our doubts sensitively and appropriately. To secretly hold fast to such doubts is unhealthy, unhelpful, and it can be extremely destructive to our faith. However, by being candid, vulnerable and divulging our doubts, in this way, we open them up to the possibility of greater understanding, healing, growth and correction.