Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Doubting Heart

It was a disaster! I blew it royally! I was discouraged and ashamed! Things went from bad to worse - not at all like I hoped or intended. SO I spent hours and days stewing in the pot of doubt and discouragement and fear.

So, what is doubt - especially self doubt? Well, it just might be a sick twist on humility. While it hides behind the mask of self-assessment, it takes me far down paths that lead me to brambles and briars rather than walking a pre-planned path hand-in-hand with Jesus.

Self doubt paralyzes. It's the stone filled pack slung over my shoulder and breaking my back as I try to drag myself along under the crushing load. The only remedy to the burden of self-doubt is to "unpack" it:

  • Is my doubt valid? Maybe I lack skills or knowledge or training or time or even the willingness to let others help me. Is my doubt there because my eyes are so focused inward making myself the focus of my world when God wants my eyes to focus upward on Him? Here is the first glimmer of that sick twist on humility which isn't humility at all!
  • Is my doubt the result of "old" tapes - mental CDs or DVDs - playing in my head? It's the Enemy's favorite trick in his bag - oppressing us so heavily with the past that we are unable to move into the future with confidence. Am I like a little girl twirling in my beautiful crimson silk dress desperately wanting someone to tell me how beautiful and graceful I am? Do we keep twirling and twirling around wanting someone somewhere to say the words we long to hear to boost our need for acceptance and affirmation? Here's another glimmer of pride, for sure!
  • Is my doubt a nudge from God? Does He want to work deeply into some of the crevices in my heart? Does He want to replace the faux of self-absorption with the truth of Sonship, forgiveness, grace and love?
  • Is my doubt an attack from the Enemy who wants nothing more than to steal, to take away and to wound my heart (as Scripture says in John 10:10) so deeply that he colossally neutralizes my ability to serve Jesus? Is this enemy able to get me/us to focus so intently on the things we didn't do "right" or well, at least in our eyes, that we are blind to the good God can do in and thru us even in failure to bring honor to His name and further His Kingdom on earth?
  • Is my doubt a call from God to take an honest look at the incident that I thought was going to cause the world to end and find that - in reality - it is only a small pebble on my path - a learning experience (intentionally sent by my loving heavenly Father) to push and challenge me - an opportunity to show God's character growing in me in living technicolor before the watching world!

Self-doubt can be either riddle us in all kinds of destructive ways and consume our thoughts OR it can be an avenue to honestly assess why it's there and what we can do about it—with God's help! God can and will turn the false humility of self-doubt in all its sick, twist "glory" into a new focus of depending on Jesus to be all I ever need! God can take doubting hearts - like mine and yours - and turn each one into productive laboratories for His amazing grace! That's the heart of the Gospel! It's what the watching world so desperately longs to see!

Doubt replaced with Kingdom-focused action is what the world needs now! It's what God longs to do in doubting hearts like mine (and yours!)!

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