What if I'm not 100% Sure I Believe?

No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition

No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition

Every once in a while, in a moment of complete honesty, someone sitting in my office whispers a confession: “But, I’m just not 100% sure.  I mean, I think I believe, but what if I’m wrong?  What does that mean?  What do I do with that?”

Often, the person sitting in my office is looking around to see if agents of Spanish inquisition are going to burst through the door and cart them off for their heretical confession.  For many this is the first time they have ever mentioned this to anyone. They have lived alone with this doubt for far too long.

The reality is that most of the world lives well below the 100% mark, even ministers and priests and monks, even major players in the Bible.

That’s right, even the “big names” of faith in the Bible question.  In fact, I find that every time I think I have come up with a new way to question my faith, I find someone in the Bible having the exact same struggles, and these aren’t the minor characters either.

Ever had the whole, “It would be a whole lot easier to believe in God if you could see God” question?  Moses was right there.  After following pillars of cloud and fire right through a parted red sea and receiving the ten commandments, Moses pressed God for visible confirmation in Exodus 33:18.  

Have you ever felt like God had completely forgotten about you?  Felt that God wasn’t keeping up God’s end of the bargain?  David knows exactly what you are going through.  The Psalms are FULL of verses like Psalm 13:1 that say things like “How long will you forget me?”

Don’t even get me started on the number of people in the Bible who asked for (ok, a bunch of them were skating pretty close to demanding) proof from God.  Even one of Jesus’ disciples, who had spent three years watching Him raise the dead, heal sick people and talk to strangers like he’d been reading their mail, wouldn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead until he put his hand in the holes in Jesus’ body (I know, gross).

That’s just the people in the Bible!  If you thumb through the writings of almost any major church leader or saint, you will find lives lived in pursuit God in the face of doubt and question.  They all doubted.  They all questioned.  None of them had 100% belief 100% of the time.

I say all of that to say that if you aren’t 100% sure you believe, you’re in good company!  As it turns out, 100% belief is far from a pre-requisite for a life of faith.  As far as this pastor is concerned, having doubts and questions is a sign of spiritual health.  It means that you are seriously engaging with faith in a God that is not bound by human ability and cannot be completely understood by even our best minds.

Let yourself off the hook of being 100% sure. Grab a friend; hang out with the pastor in your life and question together! 

This article first appeared on AL.com

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