I made a big mistake on Facebook. I have a Facebook friend who often posts atheistic rants. Most are reposts of some offensive quote or short article followed by comments by his groupies.
One day he posted one that was not only particularly offensive but based on dodgy research and faulty logic.
So, as I rarely do, I posted a comment pointing out the irrationality of this article he’d linked to. I mistakenly thought he wanted to rationally discuss this.
My mistake. He responded that I was obviously uneducated and/or stupid for not seeing things the way he did.
I calmly replied again pointing out the illogical development in the article he linked to. At which point some of his followers attacked me personally as he liked their comments and cheered them on.
I realized two things.
One he had no interest in having an open and respectful discussion about faith.
Second, I discovered how to turn off someone’s Facebook feed without un-friending them.
Now I’m the first to say I also struggle with doubts about God at times.
Particularly when I’m faced with a crisis. My faith can leak out pretty fast.
I can question, “Is God for sure real? Is Jesus truly who he said he was? Is Heaven for real? Will God answer my prayers?”
Yet, in those struggles I’ve also discovered some steps which help fill my faith back up again.
First, I acknowledge my doubt. I don’t hide or run from it. And I don’t condemn myself for it because I think God understands. After all he made me the way I am.
Second, I proactively try to sort through my doubts and refresh my faith. Usually I find books that encourage me. I read them carefully and thoughtfully absorbing what they say and thinking through it for myself.
Third, when I’ve worked through it, I come to a point where I simply choose to believe again and move forward. I could wrestle with my doubts forever because faith is never a hundred percent sure. I mean otherwise it wouldn’t be faith would it?
So I’ve found there’s a time to just settle it and move on in faith again.
Then an amazing thing happens.
I get unstuck and start moving.
I begin to see God all around me again and that builds my faith even more.
I find my faith from having gone through that time of reflection actually comes out the other side stronger.
Frankly, Jesus faced this doubt from others as well. He’d publicly worked miracle after miracle.
Then a group of religious leaders came to him and said, “You know we’d believe in you if you just showed us some miraculous sign.”
He replied, “Really? You just keep wanting more. So I’ll give you one more. I will die, be buried and rise again on the third day. That will be all.”*
And when he did some believed and many didn’t. The same is true today.
Faith is a choice we make built on solid evidence.
What is your experience?
Please share it on Facebook, Twitter or email me.
*Matthew 12: 38-40
Photo Credit: Sergio Patino (Creative Commons)