Overrated: Faith without Doubt

Don’t Be Afraid to Doubt It

I’ll start by saying: faith without doubt isn’t really overrated it is non-existent but that doesn’t fit with the theme, so thus it becomes overrated.  By definition alone, if you had 100% certainty about something, would it really be faith?  No, it would be a fact… invariably every bit of our faith is coupled in some degree with doubt.  Part of the problem is that we associate doubt with weakness and indecision. Doubt shouldn’t be associated with those words; it is most closely related to skepticism.  And my guess is that the vast majority of people don’t understand the proper definition of that word either.  Go ahead, look it up!

When most people associate doubt with a person, most immediately look to the Biblical character and disciple, Thomas (Didymus) aka “Doubting Thomas”.  I heard a talk recently about this and it really made me scratch my head.  Was Thomas miscast?  Is his legacy as a doubter uncalled for?  Think of these two pieces of information:

  1. Jesus appeared to the disciples shortly after his resurrection and the disciples were barricaded inside an area… probably scared to death… literally afraid that any public appearance could result in similar fate to what Jesus had encountered.  They were hunkered down… that is, all of them except for Thomas.  Thomas wasn’t there when Jesus appeared to the disciples.  Where was he?  Who knows… but he wasn’t with them, perhaps showing some courage to be “out and about”.  Anyway, all the disciples got to see Jesus in person and see the wounds and believe first hand but for some reason we think of Thomas lacking faith because he had to see for himself… but no more so than the other disciples did.  Wouldn’t you want to see in person, if you could?
  2. Not much is told in the Biblical accounts of Thomas however there is one previous account where Thomas, in true Braveheart fashion, says about returning to an area that they had barely fled with their lives <if Jesus is to die> “Let’s go with him and go to our death”

These two things lead me to believe we have misinterpreted Thomas’s doubt… and probably doubt in general. Doubt isn’t wrong… it is inherent with faith and co-exists with the things that we believe.  Each time that we sense doubt, it becomes an opportunity to grow and learn.  Don’t get me wrong, doubt can overcome some.  In business doubt can cause analysis paralysis.  It can cause indecision and generate fear.   In personal lives, doubt can cause worry and fear that results in lives that don’t become what they could.   Are you afraid of doubt?  If you push it away and don’t deal with it, you won’t be able to grow and, ironically, grow stronger in faith.


  1. Just as a clarification, faith is usually tied closely to religious believes… if that context works for you great. If not, faith is at play in your life in many ways every day. Wondering how? Take a look at different people’s reactions, fears, and worries about flying… while others have faith or belief that they will reach their destination.

    And thanks to Carl Franco for all the thought provoking on this! Original thought is overrated …

  2. A couple of definitions:
    a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
    b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
    a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
    b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
    : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs


    Hebrews 11:1
    American Standard Version (ASV)
    11 Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.

    I would argue that faith does mean you have 100% certainty of something. The 100% acquired through experience, study, or just hard facts. Using your plane example, I have faith the plane will take off an land every time. This is based on the laws of physics and years of experience. I know that an outlier could occur, but I have an especially strong conviction that the plane will function as intended. Why would a person doubt that eventuality? What causes that doubt, or, lack of faith?

    Now, blind faith, THAT is overrated.

  3. Although I wouldn’t state that loyalty is the opposite of doubt, I think you’ve made some good points here. In my experience, I’ve found that doubt ends up strengthening my faith. It isn’t always pretty getting there but when I question and doubt, I push myself to go deeper, understand more and learn. I don’t claim that we only can have faith or loyalty in pure knowledge though… there are times where His mystery needs to be just that. I do agree with you about blind faith… that’s really what the general public likes to mock Christians (or other people of faith) about.

    This does remind me of David’s laments in Psalms. Through his trials, tribulations, doubt and fear, he is strengthened in his faith and love of the Lord.

    Thanks for commenting.

  4. Our Faith isn’t blind if we know who or what we have Faith in. God is truth and Love. The pilot trusts his co pilot ,plane and experience , the Christian trusts his God and his experience . However we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact in the religious context , faith is just as much a gift as it is a consent of the mind ,heart and will.

  5. I don’t think I ever thought of “faith” as a gift. That’s an interesting thought, Michael!

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