Doubt vs Belief
I know someone who likes to binge-watch tv preachers on Sunday. One of those tv preachers was going on and on about doubt.
Except what they described as “doubt” was not doubt at all.
Let’s talk about that for a moment…
When you hear someone say they “doubt” something, what they usually mean is “I’m certain it ain’t gonna happen.”
If I were to say to you “I doubt I am going to win the lottery this week,” what I’m actually saying is “I believe it is not going to happen.”
That belief is further backed up by the fact that I am not going to throw my money away on the lottery ticket. That is called faith accompanied by action.
Doubt, on the other hand, is what James describes as being “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed…” (James 1:6 NIV)
It’s a going back and forth between alternate possibilities.
If someone says “I doubt my relationship will work,” they are usually already believing a fear that it will not work. Doubt is when they go back and forth between the hope that it will work and the fear that it will not. Thus, they are unstable.
There are a lot of people right now who have doubts and fears about their future. First the health crisis, then the financial crisis many are experiencing, along with the other frustrations people have while their social activities are put on hold and things are sometimes difficult to find in the stores.
I have talked with people who are experiencing real fears and doubts about their financial situation. They “hope” this all ends soon so they can go back to work, pay the rent, pay the bills, feed their babies, feed themselves.
I have talked with other people who are actually doing something in a positive direction to get money.
One group has doubts and fears about whether everything will get fixed in time for them to be able to make it.
Another group – albeit a small one – has people who believe there are things you can do to get where you want to go.
I know people who are praying for God to fix things so they can get on with their lives. I also know people who thank God for creating opportunity for them to be able to do something to get on with their lives.
What do you believe is possible for you? For your relationships? For your financial situation? For your career? For your personal development?
Even though there’s a lot of uncertainty right now, there is also a lot of opportunity.
Today is Palm Sunday – the Sunday leading up to Good Friday and Easter.
It is easy to get bogged down in the fear and disappointment of what seems to go wrong.
But there is something better just beyond that.
These difficult times will always pop up. Even Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble.” He also said “Take heart, for I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33 NIV)
James goes on to say “I will show you my faith by what I do.” (James 2:18 NIV)
It is easy to get frustrated and grumble and complain while stuck at home, not being able to do the things we would normally do. This is what doomed the Israelites in the desert.
What are some things you can do instead? Here are some possibilities, and you might also come up with some of your own:
1.) Keep a journal of “What I am grateful for.” Focus in there only on what you are thankful for an appreciate. Got relationship problems? If it’s a relationship you would like to keep, choose to focus on what you like, appreciate, value, and treasure about the person, including shared experiences, personal qualities they have, etc.
2.) Limit the amount of “news” you watch. I know someone who is glued to the bad news. That stuff cycles over and over again and again – I won’t even get in to the topic of how much of it is propaganda.
It’s important to know what’s going on.
It’s also important to keep your focus and stay centered and keep your positive outcome in mind.
I used to enjoy spending a lot of time online with the political posts and the funny memes – and I still like some of those things…
But I had to make a conscious choice to stop dwelling on those things. They were bringing me down. They were were getting me angry about things I could not change or do anything about.
So I chose, on purpose, to do something else instead.
3.) You can’t go many places right not – except the store, and maybe to work if you’re an “essential employee,” so instead of binge-watching tv programs and news and movies, find something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do. Find a skill you need, and go study and get good at that skill. Find positive ways to prepare yourself for the future ahead.
It’s interesting how I know of people who are in a panic because they cannot make any money right now, and yet I know people who are actually making money right now – helping others in the process in a way that is fair and beneficial to those other people.
4.) Watch and listen to things that inspire you, things that lift you up, and also things that make you laugh.
A good sense of humor is much healthier than wallowing in fear and doubt. Proverbs says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
This is so important. When people have given up hope, they dry up on the inside. I hope that’s not you right now. If it is, though, you can choose to do something about it.
I was doing a remote healing case recently, and I sensed the person’s spirit was shriveled and dried up, looking almost like a dried up raisin. In order for them to heal, that has to be fixed first. And they can heal. They can get through the challenges and difficulties they are currently experiencing. I believe the very best for them. They have to make the choice for themself, though.
5.) When you get frustrated with those people you love and appreciate, choose to focus on positive solutions. Choose to work together to go over what you like, appreciate, value, and treasure about each other. Choose to find positive solutions to the things that seem to get in the way.
6.) Are there people or situations you are stuck with that you do not like or appreciate? Instead of getting bogged down in grumbling and complaining and griping about it, take this opportunity to choose something positive you do want instead. And create a plan of action of how you can begin to create the kind of life that attracts the type of people and circumstances you do want.
Would you like to know a little secret here?
When you start to focus on what you like and appreciate and the type of people and the qualities of your relationship that you want to experience, as you change your belief about yourself and what it is you are capable of experiencing, many times the others around you will change how they relate to you. This is a whole set of posts on it’s own. Maybe I will come back to this in a future post.
I know someone who was suffering from a really bad relationship. They kept praying to God to “change that other person so we can get along with each other and have a good relationship.”
They finally got the idea to pray “God change me so this relationship will work.”
Wanna guess what started to happen?
And that is called leaving behind doubt and starting to act on faith.
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Thank you, and I will talk with you again soon.
(c) Jim Knippenberg