Believing in Doubt

Sarah - Apple Valley, Minnesota
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the importance of doubt. It seems like such a devious word: doubt. It looks as though a state of uncertainty can never bring happiness or self-worth, or this is at least what I used to think. This is deeper than a lesson of humility, I have turned the teachings engraved from my childhood completely around. I grew up in a conservative Christian home with a stay-at-home mother and a pastor father. He strongly promoted the significance of staying strong in your beliefs. He repeated to me that doubt in God can eat away at your heart and only grow; that never putting God’s ideals to the test was the way to remain a faithful Christian. It seemed that whenever I would read scripture and ask the why’s and how’s, a sheathed anger erupted within him. Of course he loved the fact that I was staying engaged, it was the idea that I was putting God’s word to the test that made him uneasy. My dad taught me a lot in life and has made me the Christian I am today, yet his ideas about doubt have never been my favorite.

I recently took up a class in Psychology of Religion. People from every view point attended the class, and it was mostly discussion based. Over the semester I was shown countless graphs and studies done on religion that have taken me aback or made me doubt my “rock-solid” beliefs. Also, many of our discussions have shown me ideas about spirituality that I had never considered. When I told my dad I was taking the class he looked a little worried and I knew he was contemplating these very situations. This in turn worried me about the fact that I would encounter things that might rock my religion boat. Yet I was excited.

Though I was worried of the outcome, I found that I did in fact doubt my view points a whole lot more, and I enjoyed it. Doubting my ideas made me appreciate the people’s views around me a whole lot more. And once I began doubting, it forced me to reason with my previous ideals and find that I had even more reason to believe in them. I forced myself to find answers to questions I didn’t even know I had or that I may have simply ignored. Doubting has widened my point of view and opened a lot of doors for me that I thought I wasn’t allowed to walk through. Doubting can sometimes simply be good for the soul. This I believe.