And have mercy on those who doubt.
Is doubting a sin? Is wavering a sign of weakness? Does spiritual confusion call into question one’s spiritual commitment? Do we write off a person who has questions? Is there room for doubters in the church? Is the church a safe place to ask questions?
Thomas followed Jesus for three years. He heard the Lord’s sermons, witnessed his miracles. He knew Jesus had predicted his death and promised his resurrection. But Thomas had a hard time getting over the cross. Even when the other disciples said that Jesus was alive, Thomas stuck by his skeptical guns. He said, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Thomas lived with his doubt until Jesus appeared to the disciples. Jesus sought out the doubter and said, “Put your finger here and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Instead of scolding him for his doubt, Jesus mercifully showed him the truth.
Be merciful to those who doubt. That’s the instruction of Jude and the example of Jesus. Find the doubters. Seek out those wavering. Pursue those who are confused. Show them the truth with the same mercy Jesus showed to you.
- Talk to your children about areas of doubt.
- Ask God to give you the wisdom and discernment to study and present the answers in a gentle and compassionate way.
Father, may we be strong, passionate, vibrant followers of Jesus—tempered with mercy. Put doubters in our path. Help us mercifully point them to the truth. Give us patience when it takes more than half an hour! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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