“Religion is just some made up system to explain the unexplainable.”
These words echoed throughout my head for the majority of my high school years. This is a phrase that I allowed to wreck my life for years. I would make a stride toward overcoming this lie that was tattooed into my memory, and then quickly fall two steps backward in doubt. I never considered myself a weak person until a sentence wrecked everything I knew to be true. I faithfully attended church and refused to speak up about the true thoughts running throughout my head. I feared being judged and being seen as a bad Christian. I talked theology to convince people that I loved God and I served out of obligation.
Maybe you are wondering why I am telling you this. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you relate.
The problem of doubt
I believe that doubt is one of those secret sins that the church ignores, and to be able to share with you the phrase that wrecked my life is an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. There is victory in talking about the things that hold you down, and there is freedom in admitting that you are weak. I am weak. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He will be faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. There is forgiveness for any sin! What a beautiful truth!
I’m writing to the person who hasn’t told anyone they struggle. I’m writing to the one who questions if God is real. I’m writing to the confused.
If you spend any amount of time with me, you will quickly learn that I ask a lot of questions. I love to learn about those around me and I have a habit of trying to comprehend the things that don’t make much sense. If you can relate to the struggle of doubt, you are probably similar to me in that aspect.
The truth that changed everything
I want to let you know the phrase that actually wrecked my life. After my senior year of high school, I made the decision to attend the Word of Life Bible Institute. During my time of study, discipleship, and community, I realized a simple fact. Once I understood this basic truth, my perspective shifted and the religion I once practiced changed to a relationship with the Creator of the world. Here it is: “The Bible is not afraid of your questions.”
It really is that simple! This phrase finally helped me understand that I’ve been looking in all of the wrong places for answers. I was certain that the Bible could not provide sufficient proof that there is, in fact, a God who is Sovereign and available to me; and if it did, I was never able to understand the complicated concepts in the Bible. But, it did and it still does.
Was I talking to you? If the answer is yes, I urge you to search the scripture, find someone to ask your questions and even consider attending a year or two at the Bible Institute to decide if you can believe in something like this. You will not regret it. You have no reason to feel shame or be embarrassed about your doubt. Work through it and find the hope on the other side. Ask people of Wisdom the hard questions and search the very words that God has given us for those answers. Conclude what you believe and why.
God does not love you any less for having questions. Fight lies with the truth and always be a student of the Word.
Written by Dee Sarlo. Dee is an Admissions Counselor at the Word of Life Bible Institute in Florida