Doubting in Public and Fragile Minds

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Earlier in my life I was taught in church, one of the admonishments I received was that I should refrain from questioning because by questioning or doubting in public, I might be influencing others of less spiritual strength and causing them to lose their faith.

This never made sense to me. I had always assumed that my own spiritual strength was something given me from God, not loaned to me by someone else inside or outside any church. It was also important that I do not portray myself as a wiser authority on God than anyone else. The idea that I have power in and of myself to overrule God’s influence in the life of someone else belittles God.

As persons of faith, perhaps our faith is most tested when we are tempted to not trust God’s processes. Like overbearing and over-protective parents, do we hover around someone else thinking we know more about what is spiritually best for them than God? Are we then failing to trust that God is at the helm?

This is not license to move about testing God by presuming to speak for Him and insert ourselves in between God and another soul. It also is not license to willfully decry the spirituality of anyone else as not equal to our own – AND – if we are not persons of faith, it is not license to go about tearing down religious attitudes in others.

For if we are not persons of faith, then why would we struggle to attack something we ourselves do not believe exists?

There are many Christians who are quite content to live in the simplest arenas of belief – who feel no need for deeper spiritual and mystical experience and have no hunger to come any closer to God than they are right now.

There are others who are so secure and established in a fixed and unchanging spiritual mode, that they seem to be truly afraid of  exploring and testing what they really believe. In some cases, people like this will be critical if they encounter explorers, questioners and testers who are on a quest to come to know God as God knows them – in a highly personal and spiritual context.

Traditional formulas full of shoulds and should-nots are like paved roads. There is much to see from the road, but you never know what meadows and mountains exist if you do not step off the road and make your own trail into a wilderness of opportunity.