We know that faith is the opposite of fear. And often we hear people telling us to “have faith” when we have doubt. Having faith is crucial to breaking out of doubt, but sometimes an insufficient answer to our questions. So what do we do when we have doubt?
I’m at a shop, checking out a $300 guitar pedal. I’m not sure if I really want-want-want it. I’m unsure if it’s well-built or cheaply soldered together on the inside. I’m really tempted to buy it, but there’s still some doubt lingering about in my mind.
In such a situation, I always find myself doing the same thing. I walk away from the store, and I start googling. I search “(product name here) review” in an attempt to convince myself of how good or bad it is. Let’s look at the user reviews – I want to know what others say about the company, and their after-sale support.
A bad review pops up. But it’s obvious the person is a professional 1-star reviewer. I take a look at the good ones, not the biased ones, but those who point out objectively what’s great about it. Usually, I find that I’m already biased, depending on how much I like the product. I find myself already taking sides according to my bias.
As a last measure, I give my friend a call and ask him what he thinks… you know – for pedals – someone like Aaron Cheong. Haha.
What is it exactly that I’m looking for when I act like this? What exactly is the opposite of doubt?
The opposite of doubt is… Trust.
If Aaron tells me the pedal bad through and through, I’m staying away. He’s been through more pedals than me, and knows better.
If he tells me it’s terrible, but it’s a personal bias, and I need to give it a shot to find out, then it’s a 50-50… Should I take the plunge?
If he says it’s great, well, take my money.
You see, at the end of the day, it isn’t about what I read or what I hear, it’s about who I trust. Trusting the wrong people is going to get me into deep deep trouble. Trusting the wrong person could leave me with a $300 paperweight.
You’ll have to trust me before we get on the same boat together, or we may both end up at the bottom of the sea.
Trust in friendships.
Trust in relationships.
Trust in leadership.
Trust in lordship.
Now, that’s a lot of ships not to sink.
One of my favourite show moments (or TV tropes) is found in Aladdin. The scene plays out when Aladdin asks Jasmine, “do you trust me?”
They then take a leap of faith.
But when it comes to God, I’m learning to trust Him even more each day. If I’m going through a rough patch in life, in addition to having faith, I need to trust in God’s character – that God will bring me through the season. That He is with me and for me, even if I don’t feel it.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
When it comes to people… I’ve learnt that it’s human to have doubt. But I’ve also learnt that people use doubt in order to earn trust. It’s like how in business, people speak badly of their competitor’s products so that you’ll get theirs.
I’ve learnt to give my trust to people who have the character to walk upright… because if someone is willing to backstab or speak badly about another, then who knows when they’ll turn their back on you? Be wary of those who use doubt in order to earn your trust, because it speaks so much more about them than anything.
I’d rather trust someone who makes mistakes, but has the character to walk upright, than someone who sows doubt, anytime.