All posts tagged: Doubt

The struggle to choose the right path. Credit: James Wheeler/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why do I second guess myself?

Dear Andy Every time I make a decision I doubt myself.  I have very little confidence in myself and many decisions I made have been disastrous.  What can I do to feel more confident and to make better decisions? There are many reasons why someone lacks confidence in their decisions. First I would look at the evidence. No one makes all the right decisions all the time. Perhaps you are focusing on the ones that had less than stellar results. Perhaps there is a history of poor decision making. Many people can be very adept at making decisions in some areas of their lives but not in other areas. For example, a business person might make wise decisions regarding finances or planning for the future but make poor ones regarding dating or relationships. If you are like this, then your focus needs to change from the poor decisions and towards the good decisions you made. Look at the difference between the two. Try to find common themes with the good ones. For example, perhaps they …

The Mespotamia Valley where Abraham and Sarah lived before God called them on their journey of faith: Credit: Hassan Janall U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Wikipedia

Faith through doubt: 4,000 year old marriage contract confirms story of Ishmael

Español: La fe a través de la duda: contrato de matrimonio de 4.000 años de antigüedad confirma la historia de Ismael Though the patriarch Abraham and wife Sarah ended up in the ‘Faith Hall of Fame’ (Hebrews 11:8-11), their lives were far from a perfect display of faith. God had promised Abraham and his wife Sarah a son out of which would come a great nation (Genesis 17). Though they clung to this promise, there were times when they doubted God and took matters into their own hands. One of these moments involved Hagar, Sarah’s personal maid: Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. (Genesis 16: 1-2 NASV) Sarah told Abraham to impregnate her slave who would serve as a surrogate and have a child that Sarah would …

A fig tree with fruit. Photo: Sean O'Sullivan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Start doubting your doubts

George Bernard Dantzig had just received his Masters Degree in mathematics in 1937 and a short time later was accepted as a Doctoral candidate in mathematics at the University of California. His Doctorate would be interrupted by World War 2 and Dantzig, who died in 2005 at age 90, would finally receive it in 1946. But one day in 1939, he was late for a Doctorate statistics class. When he arrived, his college professor, Dr. Jerzy Neyman, had written two statistical problems on the black board. Believing these were class assignments, Dantzig wrote them down and took them home. In an 1986 interview with College Mathematics Journal, he said the two questions proved quite challenging and it took him a few days to complete them. After finishing, he sheepishly approached Dr. Neyman apologizing for having taken so long. When Dantzig asked if he still wanted the assignment, the professor told him to throw it on his desk cluttered with paper. Six weeks later, on a Sunday morning at about 8 AM, while Dantzig and his …

Archbishop Justin Welby with Korean prelate Kim Geun-Sang in Seoul: Wikipedia/Ellif

Are you struggling with doubt?

An article in The Independent, a British Newspaper, states that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, confessed to having moments of doubt about God. He is the senior bishop of the Church of England and considered the symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican church including the Episcopalian Church in the US. Welby made these statements on BBC’s Songs of Praise, a program featuring hymns and inspirational stories. Justin said when he heard about terrorists killing nearly 130 people, he went out to pray the next morning. He asked God where He was at when all this was happening. Responding to a question whether these attacks caused any doubts Welby said, “Oh gosh, yes” and then added they put a “chink in my armor.” Though the Church of England is largely Liberal in its view on God and the Bible, Welby comes from the Evangelical persuasion inside the Anglican church. It shows that even the best of us can struggle with doubts. I appreciate his honesty and I don’t believe Justin is alone in this struggle. …