Doubt's Domino Effect

This past weekend, our congregation held an “Evangelism Seminar,” which was all put together by Darrell McKee. We really got into the book, Muscle and a Shovel, and dissected the true purpose of evangelism for us as a congregation.

There was one passage that really stuck out to me. It’s in chapter three, and if you have the newer edition, it is on page 32. It reads:

“Doubt causes indecision. Indecision causes inaction. Inaction causes some of the most important things in life into that place where unimportant things reside. Inaction causes idleness. Idleness increases doubt. Doubt, indecision, inaction, idleness; all work like dominos that, once falling, lead to more doubt. It’s a vicious emotional cycle.”

This passage was, to me, one of the most powerful in the book, because I can relate so much. I think, to some extent, we can all relate to that passage. Doubt can so easily override faith.

James, as with most things, captures the image of doubt perfectly:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” - James 1:5-8

Often times, we can think of our doubt as a “safe space.” We are neither for nor against something, we are in the middle. Nothing from either side can attack us, because we have become a “mutual”. But it is the exact opposite. When we doubt, we are easily swayed. We are driven and tossed by every little thing that comes to us. We don’t have a firm foundation in anything, whether good or bad. Though this verse is about asking God in faith, we can definitely still see the effects of doubt.

That passage from Muscle and a Shovel speaks volumes. If you let doubt override the faith inside of you, you will become lukewarm, unable to serve, therefore disobeying (Rev. 3:15-16). Keep in mind verse 5 of James 1; if we need wisdom in the midst of our doubts, we are to go to God.

-Halle Nelsen

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