by Jeanne Melberg

“With all sorts of doubts I am familiar, and the result of them is, has been, and will be, a widening of my heart and soul and mind to greater glories of the truth-the truth that is in Jesus.” George Macdonald, 19
th Century Scottish Author.

Long ago, a “devout Christian” accused me of having “nebulous faith.” I say “accused” because the intent was not one of an invitation to genuine conversation, but one of rejection and shame. And shame it did. I felt like I had been exposed for the worthless Christian that I was. Over the years of encountering Christians like this guy, my nebulous faith turned to outright doubt and eventually total denial. Sometimes the currency of the Christian community is not so much a transformed heart, but the mere appearance of one. 

We call them hypocrites, or better yet, “phonies”.   In Jesus’ time, they were known as the Pharisees. Their focus was on personal piety, following the rules and keeping up appearances. Jesus had some choice words for the phonies, such as,


Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. Matthew 23:27


Woe to you experts in the law because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering. Luke 11:52

Jesus understood that this “brood of vipers” caused the seeker (even the believer) to stumble; to doubt. And if that doubt is not properly examined and embraced, the results can be devastating.  The good news is:
Jesus does not condemn us in our doubt. I’d say it’s quite the opposite. The Spirit rides along the wave of authenticity. How much more He loves us in our uncertainty, when we are real, when we are not pretending, but acting in courage to admit to Him our temporary truths.

Jesus also encourages us to get up close and personal with our doubt, as he did with Thomas when he said, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27.  It’s as if Jesus is saying, “don’t be afraid to get in there, into the wound, examine it closely and you will know the Truth.”

From experience, I say trust in your doubt for it is God leading you to Himself. As George MacDonald put it,

 “For doubt is the hammer that breaks the windows clouded with human fancies, and lets in the pure light.” 


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