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I love college ministry. There are a zillion reasons why, but one of the top ones is because college students aren’t afraid of discussing hard stuff. They’ll talk about money, sex and power to a complete stranger. When out on a coffee date, the steamy liquid gold won’t even be cool enough to drink before a discussion starts about religion or politics or some recent headline.
To a college student, things are meant to be discussed, debated, mulled over. Their job is to think and wonder aloud in their classes, and it just naturally pours over into the rest of their lives.
As we get older, most of us slowly learn that it’s time for our priorities to shift. We have money to make, houses to buy, kids to birth, careers to advance. Our schedules get busy. Our minds get preoccupied. Our bodies get tired.
One day you’re sitting in your weekly small group with other people your age, and some brave soul admits that they’re struggling with doubt.
The room gets quiet. A couple things will inevitably happen:
- Someone will give some verses as to why the person shouldn’t doubt.
- Another will offer helpful advice- read your Bible more! pray more!
- A third will suggest a great christian apologetics book that will answer whatever questions are tripping him up.
Brave person will kindly accept all the advice. The brave person will be prayed for by the group. And the brave person will go home promising himself that he will never bring up his doubt again.
To many, doubt seems like the big bad wolf of faith. When doubt comes around, we run into our houses, lock our doors, and pray that the faith we’ve built around ourselves will not get blown in.
But what if doubt isn’t something to be so scared of? What if doubt is a natural part of our faith development? What if it’s something to embrace instead of run from?
Theologian Frederick Buechner once wrote that “doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.”
This week I’ll be talking about doubt and the role it plays in our faith development. I’ll be sharing parts of my faith journey over the past several years, as well as some resources that have really helped. I’ll share some of the questions I still have, and how in some ways, they don’t matter as much to me as they used to. I’ll also (hopefully) be sharing some ways to love and care for those who are walking through a season of doubt.
My hope for this week is to offer encouragement, companionship, and tools to my fellow doubters, as well as to the ones who love them.