06.16.2019 | “12 WORDS | Wk 3: Doubt”
Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.
Share a story about a time when you had to do something really scary as a kid (ex: jump off the high dive, take a risk, ride your bike, etc). What was the situation? Were you able to do it?
How would you define doubt? What do you think of when you think of doubt as a concept?
Often, we believe that doubt is something to be denied at all costs. However, many theologians & Christian thinkers would argue that doubt (or healthy questioning) is crucial for making our faith our own. We have to ask the questions, wrestle with what we’ve been taught, & experience doubt sometimes to move beyond believing what we’ve been told into our own, personal relationship & walk with God.
Do you agree with that sentiment? Why or why not?
Has there ever been something that you learned as a kid that you found out wasn’t true later in life? What was it like to find that out & unlearn that thing?
Have you ever experienced a time when doubting led you to deeper trust on the other side spiritually? What happened?
Read Matthew 14:22-33.
Take a moment to unpack the story. First, notice that Peter confused Jesus for a ghost. He can’t comprehend that a real, living person would be able to do this.
How does encountering something totally outside of your worldview & experience lead you to doubt what you think you know?
Second, notice what makes Peter doubt:
- Looking down & seeing himself doing what he previously thought was impossible.
- Seeing the surrounding storm.
Discuss how you relate to Peter in each case:
- Have you ever started doubting yourself, your walk, or God in the middle of doing something because you had never done it before?
- Have you ever given up on something because the “storms” of life got too strong or things seemed to chaotic?
Notice, Peter’s doubt is not resolved by him denying it exists, nor does he come to trust Jesus immediately (he messes up plenty more). Rather, he is forced to face them by falling down & growing to trust a little more each time after Jesus picks him back up.
In order to grow, we must be honest about our doubts: denying that we have them doesn’t make them go away, it just prevents us from naming & facing them.
Share about an area of your life that you currently experience doubt (spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally, etc.). What is leading to doubt there? Where do you feel like Peter?
We also must accept that learning to trust is a process, not a one time event. What might it look like to take on step towards trust in that situation or circumstance?
Getting Out of the Hole
Continue reflecting on what you are working to change & grow in during this season (see: Going Deeper for Control for context). This week, write down ONE small action that could help you learn trust a little more in that area. Make it as small as you can – a simple commitment to practice one small change this week.
See how it changes your approach to this circumstance or issue by the end of the week. Continue to share with your group how it is going!
Paul & the Faithfulness of God by NT Wright
Falling Upward by Richard Rohr
The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary by Walter Brueggemann
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, June 16: Join us for the next week of our series 12 Words as we explore the essentials of faith & spirituality. We will be discussing doubt & trust.
* Please see mye3.org for details.