TWLV Talk: Doubt
Last TWLV, on March 10th, we heard from Jordan and Jon Kauffman who graciously shared their journey through doubt - Jon individually, and Jordan as his wife.
Jon spoke about his personal struggle with doubt, which began shortly after graduation when he became engaged to Jordan. The Old Testament has several dark passages, as Jon refers to, in which justification appears to be halted and God seems to condone sins that we would consider large (rape, murder, etc.). Jon’s belief about God came down to this questioning thought: Don’t the actions of the the Old Testament God contradict the actions of Jesus?
This question led Jon’s journey through doubt to be expressed in three steps.
He let doubt dictate his beliefs - God is not who He says He is. I don’t want to be a part of this.
He ignored his questions and acted like they weren’t there - I feared losing my community and a loss of a worldview, so better to not risk it and ask questions.
He sought the answers - Doubt is not unique to me. Questions about God and faith bring more questions. Questions are how you learn.
Jordan entered marriage faithfully and excited with the mindset of everything is more fun with a buddy. As she recognized that Jon’s struggle with doubt was more deeply rooted, she began to face disappointment and fear.
Unsure how to face this season, Jordan dove into Jon’s faith. She explained how she felt responsible for encouraging him to grow, which eventually led to burnout between the both of them. Ultimately, giving him the space and freedom to explore his questions and seek answers was the beginning of healing and growth. That, and faithful prayer.
Jon has continued to seek counsel and wisdom as he discerns his faith, and Jordan has lovingly shown him grace and encouragement as she walks alongside him.
Here are two key takeaways from their experiences:
Relationships with others impact our relationship with God
God is relational, and He created us in His image, to also be relational. A popular tendency when facing doubt is to separate from relationships and attempt to figure out the doubts on your own. Be encouraged to embrace God during times of doubt. Spend time in scripture learning His character and learning how to combat these thoughts with truth. Gravitate towards people and relationships who will safely hold your questions and lift you up in prayer. Believing in Jesus Christ is not learning about a religion, it’s learning about a person. Ultimately, God reveals Himself through scripture, even throughout the dark passages.
1 Corinthians 12:24-27: But God has composed the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its members should have mutual concern for one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a member of it.
An amputated limb would die being separated from the body. - Jordan
It takes time and effort to doubt well
One of the hardest parts of facing doubt is hearing Christian cliches, especially from those who are not empathetic toward your experience with doubt. Doubting well is difficult when hearing, “Have faith, God is with you, it will all be okay, we don’t get to know the answers.” While this may be true, it is not rational when facing the undeniable existence of doubt. You can doubt well by still obeying the greatest commandment to love God with all your heart. To doubt well means to spend time looking for answers. Through scripture, we see a picture of who God is. Even in the dark passages. We see the world, culture, and morality change around us constantly, but God’s character remains.
So we must read and learn about God in small pieces. Over time, these pieces build to a bigger, fuller picture of who God is. - Jon
About the Author
Laura Moore wants to live in a world where everyone feels like they have a place and everyone is understood. Her goal for this blog is to share and recap real life topics, and to help provide a place for others to feel know.
In her free time she loves to go on hikes, sit in hot tubs, and paint. Coffee dates and long talks is how she gets to know others best. Laura loves hearing life stories and understanding how people came to be the way they are.
Keep up with her blog here for TWLV talk recaps, other topics and life experiences!