3 Benefits of Doubt
Thomas gets a bad wrap. Sometimes referred to as “doubting Thomas,” he was the disciple who refused to believe in the resurrection until He actually saw Jesus and touched His wounds (John 20:26). And yet earlier this same Thomas was passionate about following the Lord. At one point Thomas even said he was willing to die with Jesus (John 11:16). What if we’ve misunderstood this man’s “doubt?” Sure his faith wavered at times (just like mine does), but maybe his doubt wasn’t all bad. Is doubt ever a good thing?
Sometimes doubt represents a lack of faith, and according to Jesus that’s not a good thing (see Matt 14:31). But sometimes doubt represents a careful evaluation in search of the truth, and that’s a very good thing! So here are three benefits of “good doubt”:
1) Good doubt keeps us from being gullible. It encourages us to search for real truth. When the apostle Paul took the gospel to Berea, the people there didn’t accept it right away (Acts 17:10-11). They wanted to search through the Scriptures for themselves and see if what this guy was telling them was really true. In this way, good doubt becomes something of a lie detector. It’s looking to eliminate the con artists.
2) Good doubt keeps us from being lazy. It eliminates complacency. Dr. Gary Habermas, a renowned professor of philosophy and theology, says, “Doubt is the ants in the pants of faith.” We can never sit back and rest as if we have it all figured out. Doubt forces us to dig deeper.
3) Good doubt becomes great confidence for those who discover “convincing proofs.” At the end of the long quest for the truth, doubt turns to joy when met with compelling evidence. And that’s exactly what the Christian faith is based on. The first eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection, men like Thomas, refused to believe unless they personally saw Him. And that’s exactly what happened!
“To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.” – Acts 1:3