Don’t Be So Sure
Third Friday in Advent
I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go.
Isa 48, 17
It would seem, by the light of this passage, that the path of discipleship is both simple and easy. God is our teacher and our guide. All we have to do is trust God and everything good will come our way. If good things don’t come our way, it’s our own fault. We must not be trusting. We must not be following. We must not be obeying. If we’re not enjoying good things, the problem can’t be God. The problem must be selfishness and sin.
I doubt it. Not only that, but I thank God for my doubt. In fact, I’m writing this to extol the virtues of doubt. There are tremendous advantages for those who follow in the way of the LORD, but you better not be too sure that everything you’re taught is taught by God or that every time you’re led, you’re being led by the Master. There is an unending supply of teachers and guides who are completely qualified to lead you into misery.
Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice”. How do I recognize the voice of Jesus? It’s the voice of the one who is very, very good to me. Not only that, but the voice of Jesus is calling everyone else to be good to me. When I doubt that the voice I’m hearing really wants what’s good for me, doubt can be my friend. When the one pointing the way is pointing to some other way than the path of peace, I’m best off standing my ground.
Anyone can follow. The trick is to figure out when to follow, and when to apply some healthy skepticism.
Thank you, God, for faith – and thank you for doubt as well!