I’m Battling Doubt And Disinterest

Over the past month or so, I’ve slowly been becoming less disciplined and interested in reading the Bible, prayer, and reading in general.  In exchange, I’ve been doing more iPhone game playing, wasting time on my computer watching interesting/funny videos, etc.  And, as a result of turning my focus away from God, I feel more and more distant from him.

Currently, I am doubting a lot again, which makes sense in a way.  I start wondering if it’s all just a mind game.  Is this whole Christianity thing not reality?  Am I just finding ways to convince myself that it’s real?  After all, the mind is a powerful thing, and many people wind up being convinced of far crazier things.  Anything that I put a lot of time into will start to feel familiar, and like “home” in a way, a comfortable place.  How do I know that Christianity isn’t just that happening?

I also feel very disinterested currently.  I don’t want to read the Bible.  I don’t want to spend time praying.  I’ve been going at it pretty strong for six months.  Maybe I just need a break – a little breather?  Other things are much more enjoyable.  I found a really fun game on my phone that I’m really into.  That sounds more fun than reading from the book of Joshua and wondering why God had the Israelites completely obliterate all the men, women, and children in a bunch of different cities.  Sent them in and killed them all by the sword.  What happened to “thou shalt not kill”?  Isn’t that completely the opposite of the teaching of the entire New Testament?  Wresting through that kind of stuff is hard, and it doesn’t make sense, and there isn’t a really good answer anyway.  It’s no wonder why other things sound more easy and enjoyable.

But there’s a catch to all of this.  The last month has also felt very unfulfilling and unfruitful.  I feel lazy and like I’m not really accomplishing much of anything.  I feel like something good has gone missing, and it feels slightly depressing.  It’s particularly uncomfortable for me, as the last time I really felt this way, I ended up spending 4 years as an agnostic, which for me was a desert of discontentment.

I know there are plenty of books out there on “spiritual disciplines” suggesting that we need to be disciplined to read the Bible, pray, fast, and many more things.  But I almost feel like I’ve been doing all of the work lately, and that God really will only show up when you are doing x, y, and z.  When I stop, he seems to go away.  I don’t like that, and it feeds the beast of doubt.  I want God to show up and help convince me that he’s the real deal.  Why doesn’t he seem to do that when you need him?

This is a tough place to be in.  I don’t want the “fix” to be to just “read my Bible and pray”, as so many people used to tell me years ago when I was really doubting and questioning things.  I don’t think this was ever meant to be some sort of formula where [reading Bible + prayer = God seems more real].  If I’m the sheep that is starting to go astray, where is my shepherd?

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6 thoughts on “I’m Battling Doubt And Disinterest

  1. just saw this linked on fb… appreciate your authentic search for God. thanks for not faking it. just took a few moments to pray, asking that the good Shepherd would reveal Himself to you in a way that reaches your soul. thanks to you & kirstjen for being in our lives 🙂

  2. I battled doubt for many, many years. I’m not recommending another book to read, but one thing that was fascinating to me was reading “Can Man Live Without God?” by Ravi Zacharias. It’s a totally different approach to apologetics. Instead of trying to prove that God/Christianity are real, he basically asks, “Ok, if God is not real, is life worth living?”

    I have OCD, so doubt is a huge part of my life and for so many years I tried to eliminate it. I don’t really do that anymore. In my mind, I’ve realized that my BEST life involves Christianity and that I’ve made a commitment to it, even though I won’t know till I die if it was the real truth. Not everyone can draw a line in the sand like that. I never thought I could.

    I wrote about it here and I’d love to hear your thoughts, Josh: http://jackieleasommers.com/2012/10/17/uncertainty/

  3. I could have written most of this. I know you don’t want the “fix” to be read your Bible and pray, but that’s what I am starting to do again. Another alternative for awhile might be to find a Christian radio station with good, solid teaching. Good, solid as in, very little of the wishy-washy, Christ-will-give-you-your-“best life”-stuff, because quite frankly, He never promised Christians a rose garden. On the contrary, the New Testament is filled with examples of the harsh treatment Christians can expect.

    Give J. Vernon McGee a try. He does a 5-year tour of the Bible. I like the guy, because he relates the text to today, but he doesn’t hold back on telling like it is. He’s been dead for 25 years, but you wouldn’t know it from the examples he gives. If you can’t find him on the radio, you can download the entire tour plus guide for free. http://www.ttb.org/

    Anyway, like Cassie said, I also appreciate your honesty with your struggles. It helps to know I’m not the only one struggling. I also asked God to send some help your way.

  4. buck up Buttercup! I think that many Christians deal with that issue everyday. Belief in Christ as your savior is “faith”. For many years I did not attend church. Life was easier, Sundays were wide open. After having kids I knew that I needed to answer Gods call. I came across “one of those” God billboards. It said “life is short God is eternal”. It really struck a chord with me. I started attending mass regularly and praying everynight. I especially noticed that when I prayed the rosary I felt closer to Jesus than ever. Life isnt easier by having faith in Christ but it is better.
    I am not suggesting you convert to Catholicism (you would be welcomed warmly!) but I do recommend you check out the website Catholics Come Home. It might be able to answerer some of your questions on your waivering faith.

    I think too if you take a step back and look at the big picture of your life, you would really see that God doesn’t dissapear. He is always there. You have been blessed by God with so much. Not to sound too cheesy, but life really does reflect the Footprints in the Sand poem. God is carrying you often when you feel he has abandoned you.

    In the words of Pope Francis “Let us say ‘Yes ‘ to love and not selfishness. Let us say ‘yes ‘ to life and not death. Let us say ‘yes ‘ to freedom and not enslavement to the many idols of our time. In a word let us say ‘yes ‘ to the God who is love, life, and freedom and who never dissapoints.”

    God truly wants you to be happy.

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