I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I think. I’m trying to pay attention to things that stir me, things that cause me to recoil, things I agree with, things I question, the books I choose to read, the things that don’t make sense, and the concepts that seem true but I struggle to articulate.
I have come to the conclusion that my first reaction is usually to doubt and push back…especially if it is neatly packaged, sounds religious, or could fit on a bumper sticker. Initially I wasn’t sure how I felt about this admission. But the more I think about it – the more ok I am with it.
I’m ok with it because I have met a lot of people in Christian circles who live with a sound byte theology. They depend on well timed phrases like; “God is in control,” or “God has a plan,” or “Everything happens for a reason.” I have developed a distaste for those statements. Without doubt those comments and others like them are conversation killers. Each of them are like a trump card thrown on a complicated kitty of issues. There is nowhere to go other than to fold up your hand and toss them in.
I’m ok with it because I don’t think God is afraid of tough questions. I don’t think He is put off by our doubt. I don’t think He is offended by the haggling people give him. In fact, I think He enjoys it. I say that because there were some pretty prominent people in God’s story that not only believed that, they lived it.
Abraham questioned God about His desire to wipe out an entire city. “What if there were 50 innocent people? What if there were 45, 40, 30, 20, 10?” David was called the man after God’s heart and yet some of the conversations they had were so intense they make me squirm with discomfort. And then there was the man God’s people were named after. At birth he was given the name Jacob which means ‘deceiver’ but after a night of wrestling with an angel his name was changed to Israel, which means ‘God prevails.’
God named His people after a guy who refused to let something go. A guy who pushed and pulled. A guy who wouldn’t settle. So my friends I say, “Doubt on. Push back. Receive it as your birthright. Embrace it as a part of your journey.”