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Doubt


“Have you ever gotten out of your fitness routine – skipped a workout or two and ate some junk food you don’t normally eat. Before you know it, the wrong habits start flirting with becoming habitual and you gain some pounds and find it harder to motivate. Faith and doubt can operate similarly. Doubts can creep in when you get out of our prayer and liturgical routine. We miss a few Sunday’s at church, we get lazy with daily prayers, we lighten up on fasting, etc., and before we know it, we find it hard to motivate again which is a subtle form of the beginnings of doubt whether we think of it this way or not.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“...there are two kinds of doubts: dishonest doubts and honest doubts. Dishonest doubts are both proud and cowardly; they show disdain and laziness. A dishonest doubt is to say, “What a crazy idea!” and then just walk away. “That’s impossible” (or its more contemporary version, “That’s stupid”) is an assertion, not an argument. It’s a way of getting out of the hard work of thinking. But by contrast, honest doubts are humble, because they lead you to ask questions, not just put up a wall. And when you ask a real question, it makes you somewhat vulnerable.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“...when we have doubts about our faith, or about God’s plan for our lives. It is important that we keep “showing up”—to worship, to pray, to try…A dear friend once told me, “eighty percent of life is just showing up.” When you “show up” things happen. When you don’t, nothing happens. When you have the inevitable “crisis” of faith that just about everyone goes through, it is really important to keep “showing up” for church, for prayer, and for the Lord, because in showing up, there is an opportunity to grow in faith and erase doubt. “Staying away” lessens, if not eliminates, that opportunity.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Scripture says that the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever, i.e., is constant. This is not subject to doubt. Consequently, the internal work of the human soul on the path to God of which we speak must remain constant.” (Hieromonk Nektary)

"Faith is only slightly concerned with our mind and emotions. Mostly it is a matter of complying, even if we do not understand and entertain doubts....trusting and obeying God is the essence of faith." (Dynamis 1/2/2015)

"There’s a kind of doubt that actually wants answers, and there’s a kind of doubt that doesn’t want answers…There is a kind of doubt that is the sign of a closed mind, and there is a kind of doubt that is the sign of an open mind. Some doubt seeks answers, and some doubt is a defense against the possibility of answers.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“I believe! Help my unbelief!” is one of the most powerful statements in the Bible, because it is one of the most honest…I believe, but I need God’s reassurance in those moments when my faith is tested, when I’m scratching my head wondering…There isn’t anyone who hasn’t had moments of doubt, even on the same day as their moments of faith.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“…doubt that inquires and does not weaken faith is not evil...unexpressed doubt is one of the most powerful destroyers of faith." (Foundation Study Bible, Matthew 11:3, David Kinnaman)

“God is not afraid of human doubts. “Doubting Thomas” is remembered for his unbelief, yet in his mercy, Christ allowed Thomas to renew his faith when the risen Lord displayed the evidence of his crucifixion and resurrection. King David is called a man after God’s heart, even though many of his psalms questioned God’s intentions toward and provision for him—many times in raw, angry language that leaves very little emotion unexpressed. Job too voiced his doubts and disillusionment in very strong terms.” (David Kinnaman)

“God hears His us when we have doubts and questions: “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you return, I will restore you’” (Jeremiah 10:19). First we must return to the task God sets before us, but more importantly we must return to the Lord Himself. Note how God yokes return to restore (vs. 19). Repentance includes the honest admission that we are struggling to face the consequences that accompany speaking the truth, and exposing our doubts about God. But it also means continuing to tell the truth: staying with it. God is truth. We are to separate our emotions, doubts, and fears from His will so as not to fall into delusion.” (OCPM 10/20/2016)

“Some time ago, a mother arrived at the monastery with her thirteen-year-old son in tow. He had declared himself an atheist, and she was afraid he was in danger of eternal damnation. I sat down with him and told him that each one of us has to come to a personal awareness of the reality of God for ourselves. Doubting the existence of God is part of building a personal relationship with Him. If we simply go through the motions without seeking a real relationship, we might as well be atheists.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“...doubt causes us to stumble when we look for some way out other than God. Perhaps we begin to calculate with respect to money, or some strategy of emotional manipulation, some substance or drug, even some noble ideology. Any of these things and a thousand other idols might be what we turn to for relief. And as often as we go to them we are led by our fearful doubts to commit the sin that Jesus on the cross, thanks be to God, steadfastly refuses to embrace." (Hieromonk Maximos)

“The real temptation of doubt is not merely to despair of God’s love, or his existence or anything else about God. Again, to doubt is not to sin. Sometimes it’s the only reasonable course left to us, especially in the face of tremendous pain and injustice.” (Hieromonk Maximos)

“…doubt that inquires but does not weaken faith is not evil.” (Foundation Study Bible, Matthew 11:3)

“The doubt of Thomas is described in the Church hymns as “blessed,” for it was not a doubt of resistance to truth, but one that desperately desired a truthful answer—a “doubt which gave birth to faith” when the answer was revealed...The conversion of Thomas' doubt into faith led him to the clearest confession of Christ's divinity, addressing Jesus as my Lord and my God." (Orthodox Study Bible, John 20:24-29)

“Some people need to doubt to believe. If doubt leads to questions, and questions lead to answers, the doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and becomes a prideful lifestyle the doubt harms faith.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 20:25-28)

“Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith… Wrestling with doubts can and often does lead to a deeper faith…Faith without doubt is not faith.” (Paul Tillich, Sacramental Living, Miguel de Unamuno)

“Doubt often accompanies faith, and in the face of doubt, we must try to persevere in the hope that we may grow in faith.” (Aristotle Papanikolaou)

“…doubt… is a double-edged sword; it can be as much of a gift as a curse. The key lies in our response to doubts. I once heard a pastor say that guilt was built into us from God as a gift so that we would have a solid awareness of our wrongdoing and then could make a choice to rectify it. But he said lingering guilt over time was not from God but was a trap of the devil to keep us selffocused, confused, and thus block our spiritual growth. I believe lingering doubt is very much the same. Doubt can be a gift from God to keep us thinking and seeking for a period of time; but it can also be a curse to us if we linger in it until the day we die.” (Sacramental Living)

#MigueldeUInamuno #AristotlePapanikolaou #PaulTillich #SacramentalLiving #HieromonkMaximos #AbbotTryphon #PastorTimothyKeller #FrStavrosNAkrotirianakis #DavidKinnaman #SacramentalLivingBlog #HieromonkNektary #Dynamis

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