If there is a mental disorder for manic doubt, or doubt attacks, I think I have it. A couple of times a year I have these mini-crises where I doubt everything. I’m not talking, “If I can’t see it I don’t believe it” doubt, I’m talking Matrix, “there is no spoon”, “is this all a dream?” doubt. It’s in the pit of my soul. I can feel it around my heart. I lose sleep and I freak out for days or weeks at a time. I question everything.
Of course God, Jesus, religion, all of it, gets put on trial when I go through these bouts. What if there is no God? What if the Bible is wrong? What if Jesus was just a moral teacher? What if I’m a Christian only because I was born in America? What if all my atheist friends are right and I could be sleeping in on Sundays? What...If...All of it…It flies through my brain at lightning speed. I wish I could tape it all and put it on YouTube.
Do you know what keeps me here? Do you know what keeps me with the Bible and Jesus and Christianity? It’s the only religion or philosophy that is honest with me. The Bible tells me in the midst of my doubt, inferiority, brokenness, and weakness that I am inferior, broken, and weak. I know in our self help, everybody’s special, life your best life now, I blame the system and my mom, world this is not what’s supposed to be said, but the truth is at the least cathartic and at the most freeing.
We are screwed. We are royally messed up. Can you honestly look into yourself and say, “I’m naturally good”? If you can then you are delusional. Can you honestly bank on the idea that by the time you die you will have done more good stuff then bad stuff? Not to mention, whose standard are you using? If you’re true to yourself that’s great, but are you the universal standard for right and wrong? No, you are not. I’m sorry to tell you that. I hope your therapist, bong, or social media can have a field day with that realization.
The Bible, God, and Jesus are honest with us about our current condition. We are irrevocably broken and there is nothing we can do about it. There is no balm, there is no bandage, there is no stitch to take care of the deep gash that we have. There is not a doctor smart enough, a drug good enough, sex amazing enough to fix the fact that we intentionally do stupid stuff. Sure, you can cover it up, you can hide it, that’s fantastic, but when we pull a Homer Simpson and put electrical tape over the “check engine” light in our car in hopes of the problem going away deep down we know the repercussions are coming and we aren’t doing the right thing.
That’s what keeps me in the Bible. That’s what keeps me in with Jesus. That’s the Grace of God. He doesn’t lie to us or let us lie to ourselves. He says, “You are broken. You need help. I have the only help.” A lot of people don’t like this. A lot of people think God is an arrogant prick because He claims to have the only way and acts like He’s in charge.
But what if He’s right? What if our best efforts are not going to cut it? Wouldn’t you rather be told that upfront then wasting all of your time? God doesn’t pull any punches. “Your righteousness is like a dirty tampon to me” (Isaiah 64:6). God isn’t interested in the good stuff we do to try to appease Him. He has no interest in how “good” we are. He doesn’t set up a list of do’s and don’ts that must be completed before we die. All He said is “Follow me.”
See, that’s where Jesus is a horrible moral teacher. He doesn’t teach us how to be good, instead He teaches us how we don’t have anything good in us that aren’t a lonely remnant of Eden. Jesus teaches us that He is the answer to God’s impossible standard. God is His own answer because He’s that big. He doesn’t need us to answer questions for Him and He doesn’t need to answer all our questions either. He doesn’t HAVE to do anything, but He did.
Believe me, in another post we will get into this much, much, deeper. What I want you to do now is take solace, comfort, and joy in the fact that, on our own, we are screwed.
Danny Exyle is the chief writer for www.sinnerscircle.blogspot.com
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