Recently, I met with my son’s small group of middle school boys and we talked about Matthew 28:16-17.
This is the end of Matthew when Jesus appears to the eleven disciples just after his resurrection. Scripture tells us that when the disciples saw Jesus, “they worshiped him, but some doubted.”
I asked my group of middle school boys if there was a difference between doubt and unbelief. One boy said, “Yes, you can doubt something but still believe it.” Too often in our culture, we are pressured not to doubt. Too often doubt is seen as something contrary to faith.
It never fails that during the Easter season, every year, I am confronted with doubt. Can it really be true? Did a man really die and rise from the dead three days later? As the man ascended to heaven, is it really true that the Spirit remained and now resides in me?
Many times I doubt these truths that I have believed and tried to build my life on. However, my doubt does not mean that I believe less. When I read the passage in Matthew, I realize that my doubt means I am in good company. The disciples doubted even after they saw Jesus alive. When we give space to our doubts, they can actually be healthy. Honest doubt can draw us closer to Christ who is not surprised nor weakened by our doubts.
At the Foundation our mission is to cultivate wholeness in individuals and institutions for the transformation of communities. Laity Lodge Family Camp works toward this mission by creating space where families can connect with God and engage with one another in significant ways. We hope that the space we create will facilitate the cultivation of wholeness for families.
There is something significant about having space to slow down, to take a deep breath, and to consider the aspects of life that are most important. In the confines of safe space I often am surprised to find my own doubt and through that doubt an opportunity to draw closer to Christ.
Questions to consider:
- What is something that you believe to be true—about the Christian faith or otherwise—but often doubt at the same time?
- How has doubt of something drawn you to a deeper understanding or appreciation for what you doubt?
- Do you feel that you have the space to think critically about things that matter and deal with the doubt that emerges? If not, how can you create that space for yourself?