“Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
~1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NRSV).
At poignant moments we’ll ask the question alluded to in the title, disregarding perhaps—for that moment—all evidence for our previous growth or status in faith. Or perhaps there are just very dire circumstances confronting us.
These are moments of doubt as we invest too heavily in the workings of our imaginations, considering the costs ahead in the shrewdness of fear.
Dealing With the Source of Doubting
Whether the source of our doubting is from those circumstances that dent our confidence or from more insidious means—i.e. the attacks of Satan—matters less than our awareness of the doubting itself and our resolve to address it.
When we break down our doubting to these two actions we can more easily bring about a resurrection process upon our faith; the more we do it the quicker we restore our spiritual confidence. It can then become a habit helping us bounce back quicker and quicker.
Increasing Our Awareness
Awareness is critical in so many aspects of life. From the ‘science’ of emotional intelligence there is both personal awareness and social awareness.
To use both our self-talk and our interactions with others as indicators of confidence levels—this via reflecting inside our moments—is vital as we construct for ourselves techniques for spiritual resilience.
Oftentimes, however, especially for experienced spiritual practitioners, awareness will be a soda and this is where the problem will remain, and nothing quite makes for the frustration of piqued awareness with no solution. That can contribute very quickly to a state of spiritual despair.
Resolving to Fix the Doubting
We can either stop doubting or start thinking and acting in faith.
The latter is the only one that works, however. The mind’s funny in that it needs its ‘meal replacement’ or it starves from a lack of fuel, which are things to focus on. This is particularly so for analytical types—those already predisposed to acquiring faith as a corrective for cognitive and emotional ills.
Simply acting in faith by perhaps ‘faking it until we make it’ is much more productive than just resolving to not doubt.
The Importance of Perseverance
There’s nothing quite like meditating on what God might be calling us to do as far as our own custom-made fix is concerned. Here we set aside time to plan, and our plan includes daily routines and daily reminders as we steady ourselves out of the rut a day at a time.
We also reflect over our days. We’re appropriately introspective—not beating ourselves up for doubting—but seizing on opportunities to take receipt of our spiritual wins, no matter how small they are.
Whatever we prize in life will inevitably be ours.
If we prize highly our faith—which is confidence to live the bold, joyful and free life, and to act accordingly—and we don’t give up, our faith will eventually be restored, and we will have learned more about how to redress the issues of doubt as they stand with us personally.
This is often the purpose of these struggles—they’re learning opportunities.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.