In the current uncertain times and lockdowns, doubt, doubt, and worry are at all-time highs, while self-confidence is at an all-time low. Here’s a look at the causes of doubt and how to overcome them using the Bible and faith.
By its very definition, doubt is a feeling of uncertainty. It’s no wonder, then, that in these uncertain times, there is an epidemic of doubt. The pandemic led to deaths and a loss of loved ones, widespread unemployment, interruptions in education, massive financial losses. And despite vaccinations, new variations continue to infect even those who are already vaccinated.
This whole experience has been traumatic for some, especially when it seems like just as hope is on the horizon, another setback emerges.
There’s also been unrest and turmoil in society, causing many to lack faith for the future.
But the God who created all, says:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
Nearly every human being deals with doubt at some point in life. Even people who seem to have it all on the outside, may be dealing with significant self-doubt. Success doesn’t automatically insulate one from doubt.
At its core, doubt is a thinking disorder. But doubt has an insidious side. Doubt can prevent us from following our dreams, engaging with others or living an authentic life. Doubt can paralyze our decision-making. At its worst, self-doubt can even lead to suicide.
Two types of thinking we need to self-doubt, according to Dr. Jennice Vilhauer:
(1) negative self-talk.
(2) selectively filtering the environment for evidence that matches up with your negative self-image.
What both boil down to is an absence of self-love.
While the Bible encourages to love your neighbor as yourself – how can we truly show love to others if we can’t do the same for ourselves?
We first have to have a healthy amount of self-respect and self-love to know how to give the same to another. And healthy is the key word here. Self-doubt comes from an unhealthy way of thinking.
Psychologist William James said it best: “You’re not what you think you are, but what you think – you are.”
Buddha had a similar saying: “The mind is everything. What you think – you become.”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
The way to defeat self-doubt is to focus on positive things. Think not about what you lack, but be grateful and humble for the things you already possess.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
– Psalm 139:14
To paraphrase an old saying, “God must have loved simple folks because he made so many of them.”
You are exactly the way God intended you to be. He loves you. He gave you gifts no one else has. Each and every person is special in their own way.
“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
– Matthew 10:30
“Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns–and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
God and Jesus love you immensely.
Put away the negative thinking, defeating self-talk and give yourself the self-love you deserve.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
In addition to reading the Bible and putting your faith in God’s promises, it can also be extremely helpful to find another Christian to be your mentor or offer advice or support. Consider doing the following:
1. Find a positive Christian mentor or source of advice
2. Surround yourself with positive friends, preferably Christian
3. Take a timeout when you feel overwhelmed. Find a quiet place. Read the Bible.
3. Forgive yourself for your failings.
4. Give yourself realistic, achievable goals.
5. Acknowledge you can’t make everyone happy. Don’t try. While Christians are called to be selfless, caring and kind, at the same time, to be effective, one must first take care of the caretaker – you.