Ever felt stupid to ask a question? Like, “I’m probably the only one who doesn’t know …”
Growing up, I’ve always been intimidated by the thought of having to raise your hand amidst 40 other students. I was always afraid my classmates would think I’m stupid. So I preferred to stay silent rather than risk the whole class staring at me while I clarified my doubts. But this was mentality that began to cause many other problems.
My grades deteriorated because I struggled to grasp concepts. I lost sleep because more time was spent studying at home. I became a burden to my classmates because I asked them questions instead of the teachers, sometimes even during the lessons when they were also trying to listen.
It was only at the start of my Polytechnic education that I began to ask more questions in class. I had to for the sake of class participation marks. But it helped me see the importance and value of clarifying my doubts.
Doubts left unclarified lead to uncertainty.
In a human relationship, doubt that is buried eventually leads to speculation. That in turn, brings about misunderstanding — eventually causing a rift in the relationship. It’s similar when we don’t find answers to our questions about faith — or when we don’t even ask.
Doubts hinder our relationship with God and cause us to stray from him.
Jon Bloom puts it this way: “Doubt is not the complete absence of faith. It’s faith laden with weights of unbelief, which threaten to sink us.” So we sink into disbelief when we don’t deal with doubt.
When we face our doubts head-on, we will someday also be able to help fellow believers tackling the same questions.
In the Church, we’re all on a journey. As siblings in Christ, grow alongside one another. When we talk about our questions of the faith, such a discussion edifies one another and helps us build our faith on solid doctrine. The end result is that we spur each other in the pursuit of understanding and desiring God.
Let’s never make a fellow brother feel like he’s looked down on. Church should be the safest place to ask these questions.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15)
When I studied in a media school, I was surrounded by individuals who weren’t afraid to express themselves. In particular, I had classmates who had strong opinions against Christianity and were very vocal about it.
There was one particular classmate I discussed religion with. Although we had disagreements with each other regarding the Christian faith, he was extremely knowledgeable about the Christian faith. In fact, he knew much more about the Bible than I did.
Our conversations made me determined to better understand God. They helped spur me on to be better equipped to defend my faith.
A good place to start on apologetics would be any of Ravi Zacharias’ books. In particular, I’ve also enjoyed Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. There is great literature out there that can give you insights into the Christian faith.
I know many people who are apathetic. They aren’t keen on discussing hard questions or theology. They worry about it turning into a heated debate or they just don’t have the interest.
I wish they knew how important it is to know what we believe — what we stand for. Ephesians 4:13-14 tells us about the importance of unity of the faith and knowledge in our Lord, so as not to be swayed by false doctrine.
So don’t judge those who doubt. If not you may develop a sense of superiority over the person who’s clarifying his doubt.
Let’s never make a fellow brother feel like he’s looked down on. Church should be the safest place to ask these questions. So encourage one another to raise questions, rather than sweep them aside.
Don’t run away from the doubts in your faith because when placed in God’s hands, He will use them to build up your faith.