I Doubt It
No, you will NOT sell me the Brooklyn Bridge. No, I will NOT give you my social security number over the phone. No, I do NOT believe the Ginsu knife will outlast me.... well, maybe yes on that one, though I'd rather not contemplate that just now.
Doubt is pervasive - if you have an inkling you are being 'taken', if you question the sincerity of the person with whom you are speaking, if you have made mistakes or experienced a failure or setbacks in the past that you relentlessly beat yourself up about, you are a prime candidate for the label of 'Doubting Thomas'.
Wisdom and common sense dictate that we should be cautious about some revelations, about some risks, about some relationships. There is a strong case for tempered scepticism in life.
There are other times, however, when doubt gets in the way. Your parish wants to grow and the pastor asks you to brainstorm about the strengths of the parish and how that might translate into programs for evangelism and outreach. If you have been a long-time parishoner, chances are you have worked on a slew of committees, fund raisers, publicity campaigns, youth events, pledge drives. Certain things (done, incidentally ten or more years ago with other people, with no computers, with no phone tree, with no money) failed. Your instinct is to discount the idea. I DOUBT THIS WILL WORK because we tried this already five years ago and it didn't work then.
Or... how about someone who has hurt you in the past (after showing mild remorse and asking forgiveness and hurting you again) comes to you and acknowledges their past, asks for ways to make amends and asks for forgivenes. What is the first thing that comes to your mind--- could your thoughts be saying, loud and clear, YEAH.... IDOUBT IT!???
Doubt has a place when it comes to flimsy merchandise, deals 'too good to be true' and dealing with a person of severe psychological duplicity. It can keep us financially responsible or alive.
There are times when doubt impedes our growth: mental, emotional and spiritual. Avoiding risks is risky business. We risk being loveless, insensitive, compassionless, uninspired people. Doubt, taken to its extreme can be crippling.
One thing that people doubt - for whatever reason - is the unconditional love of God. There are certainly times in my life when I have looked back at something I had done - willingly or without thinking it through - that hurt others. Then and there I reasoned Surely, God will 'get' me for this... or that. My reason was a reflection of my self doubt and cynical nature. Well, miracle of revealed miracles, The Divine is simply not like that.... God doesn't 'get' us-- we are quite capable of doing that ourselves! God invites, beckons, remains available when in our spiritual blindness we mistake it for invisibility. God's love fades not, fails not, asks for nothing, deserves everything.
Venture to doubt your doubt of God's love; embrace the assurance waiting to embrace you.... and don't doubt THAT for a second!