“Doubting Thomas” has become synonymous with the “sin” of questioning or uncertainty. Yet, I think Thomas was on to something about doubt. 

What if I told you that you have permission to doubt and figure out your own beliefs? You are allowed to question your faith and disagree with others. 

It does not threaten your faith. Instead, it will strengthen it. 

Doubt completely turned me in another direction. I hate to think where I would be without it. The words “I don’t know” changed my life. They saved me from limiting beliefs and allowed me to start learning for myself.

We are often taught what to think instead of how to think. In childhood, I learned early about having opinions that matched others and staying out of conflict. 

However, this kept me in a very small bubble. Whenever I encountered something new, I didn’t question it but ignored it altogether.

When I was twelve, I realized how damaging preaching and teaching limited beliefs in the church really are. The one that hurt to hear the most was that I should not follow my call to ministry due to my gender. This struck a chord in me. For the first time, I seriously thought, “I don’t know about that.” 

I could not wrap my head around being limited in society due to a part of my identity I didn’t choose. Why would being a woman prevent me?

Allowing myself to question, challenge and doubt opened my eyes like never before. Over the years, this experience of wondering and challenging my faith showed me the complexity of everything.

I thought for myself, not what others wanted me to think. By beginning with “I don’t know,” I experienced a bigger reality beyond what anyone—preachers, society, and those around me—was selling me. 

My beliefs changed when I discovered what the gospel meant in divinity school. I learned about what the ministry of Jesus was actually about. 

He didn’t only preach about judgment and shame. Christ came to liberate the world in love, connecting us to himself and others.

The words of the Pauline epistles no longer stung. Through context and other theologies outside the Reformed tradition, I encountered how patriarchal themes exist within and throughout the Bible. 

I learned how to apply patriarchal texts beyond a literal interpretation.

I found the soul-searching answer to the “I don’t know” question about excluding women in ministry. My professors taught me to approach scripture with a perspective based on what Jesus would think or do. By looking to Jesus instead of listening to others, I realized how women are called to ministry.

If I had never doubted, I would still be holding on to limited beliefs that keep me from the call of God.

When we get stuck in echo chambers, repeating the thoughts of others, we will never stand on our own two feet. It prevents us from developing a deeper relationship with God.

Something is lost when we don’t think for ourselves and question beliefs handed down to us. The mystery of God is forgotten, and we become stuck in our certainties. Our minds become blinded to other possibilities outside our current social circles.

The power of doubt allows us to grow in connecting to others and faith in God. The Maker opens our eyes to other truths and knowledge. The world is not black and white but ten thousand shades of gray. 

Instead of doubt being a sin, maybe we have something to learn.

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