“When in doubt... sing loud” Robert Merrill - Composer
Yesterday I was talking with my friend George about doubt, I have been thinking about it since. Doubt is a constant companion in my Christian walk. I believe it is the ability to overcome doubt that is key to opening ourselves up to all that God has for our lives. For so many doubt steals away the ability to make decisions to move ahead in life. It forces people to live in a bubble of protection and wall building. It keeps people in the pits when the race is already started.
As I read about the heroes of faith in the Bible I see so many people in doubt... Moses, Gideon, and Peter just to name a few. While Thomas gets the nickname, I think all of us battle the same issue. Often when we say we are praying for confirmation of this or that we believe God wants us to do, but really we simply are in doubt. I believe it is rarely a question about what to do for God, but more a question of if we can overcome the little voice inside to do it.
In church yesterday we learned about the inner critic we all have, and how that inhibits us to truly be free to worship and praise God. We learned that the inner critic grows as we do, in children it is not present, but as we grow up it does too! We learned of this because there will be a new class on Sunday Mornings investigating the development of the different sides of our brains. What an incredible idea, a hands on way to overcome our inner critic to help us to be free follow God's voice! Revolutionary! What if the whole church entered into a class like this, and began practicing this freeing concept, the results could change everything!
Growing up, I was blessed to live in a setting much like this class will be. We learned that children that are encouraged in their artistic ability are more naturally able to sound out the inner critic. I was always an artist, encouraged to create and applauded by the results. So while the inner critic or doubt as we call it, still exists in me I believe it is tamed a little through time and practice. It is often merely by practice that we do certain repetitive actions, this can be good or bad. We want to make sure those habits we have are healthy and bring us closer to God. I have many... many bad habits. Actions that are repetitive that hurt me, stunt my growth and bring me away from God. So it becomes even more important to build up the muscle that silences that inner critic. It is through time and use that it gets strong enough to pull the weaker parts of me along. It is now the muscle that dominates my movement that makes me move ahead toward God and away from myself, my doubt, my pity and my shame.
So as I spoke with George yesterday, we concluded it would better to move ahead in fear, denying that voice of doubt that is always there. I think we both can feel better knowing the company we keep...Moses, Gideon, Peter, Thomas, George and Tony too!