Good Doubt - Bad Doubt
Is there a difference?
As Christians, we are told to not doubt, and made to feel guilty if we do. Is there a good doubt? I was talking to GOD in my head, I do that all the time, and I mean all the time. You see, I have ADHD, and although, some people find that to be a disadvantage, some of us who have it have been able to find the good in it One good thing is that we can hyper-focus. I know, Attention deficit means lack of focus, right? Well, with ADHD, because we have such a difficult time staying on task, when we really need get something done, what we do is expend ALL our mental energy to hyper-focus on a task, if we feel it's that vital
So, I asked GOD, in my head: "Why do I doubt all the time? How can you really use me, love me, trust me, want me? The answer I got was"Child, you know that doubt is good at times and doubt is bad at times. Now, go write a blog and explain that to the good folks out there who are feeling like flunkies. (paraphrased) I know that came from GOD, because it makes perfect sense, GOD kind of sense.
The English language is so boring whereas, Greek and Hebrew have several different kinds of words for our one English word. There is a doubt that really means, "research this," and there is a doubt that mean, "ya, right!" I could get all technical and go into the different Hebrew and Greek words for you, but maybe you could research that one on your own.. Now, you are wondering if I am right about Greek and Hebrew stuff, and you may want to research it. Now, if you are a cynic, you will just brush that off, think I'm a whack job, not read another word, click the X, and we are done! It's too bad, because you'd miss the most important part.
So, doubting is good, if it means seeking more information. I will give you a Biblical example. John-the-Baptist was the greatest born of women, Jesus said. Yet, while he was in a dungeon, chained to a wall, he sent his cousin a message, the one he "knew" since he was in the womb, and told his disciples to ask if he was the One to come, or should we look for another. “Really, John, it's your cousin, you lept in your mother's womb when my mother was in your presence, for Pete’s sake, how can you question all this now?” Is something Jesus never said!
Wrong, Jesus didn't say that, Jesus just sent back a confirming answer, not yes or no, but consider the evidence: "The blind receive their sight, the lame are now walking, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf are hearing, and dead are being raised, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. Blessed is the man who does not take offense at me." (My paraphrase) Now, research the Bible and find that passage. I'll give you a hint, it's in the Gospels.
John had doubts, because of his dreadful hopeless situation, not because he was cynical with a chip on his shoulder, needing to prove Jesus wrong, like the Pharisees. Their doubt was different in tone and inference, theirs was from pride, while the other kind of doubt comes from a broken contrite heart. There is a doubt that comes from hopelessness. You see, hopelessness and faithlessness are two different things. Hope is a feeling, while faith is fact. We can lose hope without losing our faith. Hope is an emotion and emotions have no intellect, whereas facts are truth, and facts don’t have feelings. When hopelessness and fear sets in, and I doubt that I'm truly hearing from GOD, I compare it to what I have learned in Scripture. I research and I research. Now, I've spent a lot of years in the Bible, and I'm mean nose to page, so I have a pretty good working knowledge of it, and I know how to get around, Old and New Testament. I know where to go to feed my faith with facts. Eventually if I overdose with Scriptures that I know are facts, there is a slight whisper of hope that accompanies that faith, until the fatigue sets in. Never believe what you feel when you are tired. That’s the enemies favorite time to attack.
When we fall in love with someone, what do we do? We study everything about that person, their mannerisms, what makes them tick, how they think, and their history. With God, it seems to be a little different with us. We go to church and are spoon-fed a few verses in 43-minute sermon, and we are done for the week. We cannot really determine if we are hearing from GOD if we do that, even if we never miss a sermon. Think back, how many sermons you have heard, how many can you remember all the content? Not very many, huh? Just a few highlights of a good one, right?
I’ve been legally wed to a cynic. He has always been a cynic. We don't live together, because he is a cynic, and we haven't for five years. His attitude toward something I say regarding what I think GOD is telling/teaching me is, "Well, I guess we'll see if it happens." Then if it didn't happen in his prescribed time, well then, I must not have heard from God, his doubt/disbelief kicks in and he goes on to the next entertaining hobby of the week. He doesn't research what I said, because he really doesn’t care about what I care about, or what GOD cares about. why? His cynical doubt is a vicious cycle of doubt, cynicism and disbelief, to unproductiveness, then to walking away from GOD for some. His cynicism keeps GOD from showing Himself to the skeptic with the chip on his shoulder. It’s a no win situation. I don't recommend that, because if a cynic walks away, in all likelihood, they won't come back.
There is a difference between a cynic and a prodigal. The cynic walks away out of disbelief, whereas the prodigal walks away out of hurt and not knowing how to process the emotions, or the event that sent them over the edge. The prodigal comes back better than ever, the cynic fades in the background until GOD says, "Okay, you have no use for Me and the Kingdom, down there, you might as well c'mon up!" (Paraphrased, but you get the point.) You can find that in Job 14.
You know an answer is from GOD if it matches with Scripture, is bathed in Wisdom, and fits in GOD's character, and probably something you never would have thought up yourself, because it’s way beyond your wisdom bank. I think it's pretty obvious, the more we pursue the one we love, the more we will hear from, learn from, and get to know intimately the one we love. One last thing, let Scripture interpret Scripture, one Scripture is not proof enough, there must be another or a few more Scriptures that also line up with the answer you believe you got from GOD. Remember, as mere humans, we can never really know the mind of GOD or, understand the ways of GOD. (Isaiah 55 - go find that one too) GOD lessons take a long time to really sink in, because he has so little to work with in regards to His sheep!