Here are some old beliefs that are rattling around in my brain. Maybe you can relate to some of these.
If I’m not perfect, then I am going to hell
I can’t say my doubts out loud or God will condemn me
All of my sexual thoughts are sinful
I am a sinful piece of crap
God only loves me when I am doing good things
God is a man-made construct used to control people
We don’t know for sure if God is real or not. We have to choose to believe, which I do. But all the ways I see God working have logical explanations too.
I do choose to believe God is there and that He loves me and has a plan for me. But I still have a hard time with the details.
If there are so many religions in the world, how can Christianity be the only true one? If someone was born into a Hindu family, does that mean they are going to hell?
Was Jesus who He said He was, or did people writing the bible embellish the truth to spread their agenda? The Bible was written by people and people are flawed and selfish. So how can we possibly believe everything the Bible says to be fact?
What about homosexuality? I have friends who I really believe were created gay. That’s who they are. But the Bible says it’s a sin. What am I supposed to do with that?
Does God really look down on and condemn homosexuals after making them that way? Do gay people not deserve to be happy and have love in their life? Or are all the rules like that in the Bible written by people who wanted to set the rules. Maybe it says homosexuality is a sin because the dude who wrote that part was uncomfortable with gay people. There is no way to know for sure.
The problem is that people then take the Bible as law and use it to judge other people, to condemn and hate, to start wars and to make themselves feel superior.
That is a bunch of junk and I want no part of it.
I do know that I feel happier and more complete when I choose to see God working in my life. I have tried it the other way and it did not go so well. So I think the answer is to choose what you believe.
But just because you believe in God doesn’t mean you can never doubt again. It’s ok to have doubts and it’s important to think through them. If we just stuff them down, they become toxic. Say your doubts out loud. Talk to friends about them. And pray for God to help you find peace with them.
All I really want is truth. Isn’t that what we all want? But if we just choose to only see the one side of things we want to see and refuse to listen to anyone who disagrees, then we are not seeking truth. We are seeking validation for what our fears tell us to believe.
I want to live in truth and not in fear. I don’t want to run from my beliefs. I want to do the work, to have freedom to be honest about my feelings and to find peace with all this.
I want to be able to talk about my doubts and have real conversations. I want to be open to new ideas. I want to keep learning.
I want to have confidence in what I believe. I want to love myself and others right where we are today. I want to be a light in the world and a source of love and encouragement to others. And I want my God to want all those things too.
What do you think about all these questions? Do you have any doubts of your own? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!