Our Response To Our Doubts…
When we face times of self-doubt there are some responses that we normally have. How do we respond to doubt, whether it’s a doubt about ourselves, about God, or about His word? There are at least four basic responses we can have. Let's take a look at these. We either: Listen to our doubts – Ignore our doubts. – Lie about our doubts. (Or) We tell our doubts the truth.
1. Listen to your doubts. We have all done that. We just set back and start agreeing with your doubts, especially if they are about you. You begin to kick yourself and put yourself down and scold yourself and call yourself names. My goal today is this, as we talk about this season of self-doubt we stop calling ourselves names and we start calling on God’s name. If we can make that transition together we can go through and grow through this season.
Listening to your doubts does not work. A common response to these stages can be a pity party. You kick back and listen to your doubts, to how terrible you are. (Somehow chocolate is always involved in these pity parties, I’ve noticed!) You start to feel miserable. It doesn’t work!
2. Ignore your doubts – A second response is to ignore your doubts and pretend that they are not real, that they are not there. If listening to your doubts makes them big, ignoring them makes them bigger. You just hide them and pretend they’re not there and they grow bigger and bigger.
Thomas a disciple of Jesus wanted to do this. He wanted to ignore his doubts about the risen Jesus. When Jesus met back a week later, He wouldn’t let Thomas do that. He said, “Look at My hands. Look at My side. This is what you had doubts about. Look at it. Don’t ignore it.” God can help you with your doubts. He can handle the fact that you and I have doubts. He’s big enough for us to not ignore our doubts but tell Him “Help me with my doubts!”
3. Lie to your doubts – A third response is to lie to your doubts. This is where we just say things like, “I don’t have any doubts.” Refusing to acknowledge our doubts will not cause them to go away. So how do you handle your doubts?
4. You tell your doubts the truth. Then you act on that truth. The Bible tells us the truth about ourselves. We are going to look at some truths that Paul said to Timothy. But it is not enough just to know the truth. You have to also act on that truth. A lot of believers and a lot of people who come to church know the truth about their doubts but they are not acting on the truth. It is like we play this game, “I won’t tell if you won’t tell.” I will not acknowledge my doubts and I will not ask you to acknowledge yours. That results in getting stuck in doubt mode. Look, you don’t grow if you just remain here. So what did Paul have to say to Timothy not just about the truth about ourselves, what did he have to say to him about how to act on that simple truth in our lives? How do I get unstuck? We will look next week at some ways to get unstuck.