Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 22-23
Doubt can visit the life of everyone who follows Jesus. It may have been that way for Theophilus, the original recipient of Luke’s gospel. Luke says he writes so Theophilus will have “certainty of the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:4). While Theophilus has apparently learned some things about Jesus, doubt may be creeping in through questions, fears or misunderstandings. Luke writes, at least in part, to remove that doubt.
There is a lot of confusion about doubt in the life of a Jesus follower. We can have saving faith and still have intellectual doubts. We can address intellectual doubt through study and research. There is no question about the Bible that someone has not answered! But there is also what Pastor John Dickson calls “moral doubt.” We “doubt” because we don’t want to obey the Bible in areas that challenge our lifestyle: sexuality, generosity, or attitude. So we may “doubt” that Scripture is true.
As believers, we have a responsibility to those who doubt. We are to have mercy, showing kindness, compassion and sympathy. We are to direct people to the truth gently and patiently. This doesn’t mean we aren’t to be firm. But it must be a firmness mixed with compassion and love for those who doubt.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Begin to respond to any doubt you are experiencing. This includes repenting of moral doubt or seeking answers to intellectual questions. It might also include helping a family member or friend work through some doubt. If you need help in a situation of doubt, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022 BIBLE MEMORY PRACTICE
Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.