Of Two Minds: Doubt and Belief

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands… I will not believe,” announces Thomas. (Jn 20:25b) In another scripture passage this week, Jesus appears to the disciples and asks, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet.” (Lk 24:38) These followers, still grieving the loss of their friend, are called to move beyond their fears to a deeper understanding of the Resurrection. Returning to the Latin roots of the word doubt I found to my surprise: “doubitare” – implying “the choice between two,” or “to be of two minds”.  Will you doubt, or will you believe?  The disciples had struggled with Jesus’s words and actions when he lived among them. Their expectations of the Messiah were one coming in military and political power.  And here is Jesus showing them his wounds as proof of his power to save them.  It might be natural to doubt given these expectations.  But when presented with this new reality, with Christ’s presence – they are called to choose, to go deeper, to move. Doubt, or being of “two minds” holds the potential for conversion or for paralysis.  Jesus knows this.  It is imperative that they move – past the fear, past the loss, past their expectations. Personally, God has challenged me in this same way for these same reasons. I know undoubtedly that if I do move toward the love being extended, that I am met with God’s presence, powerfully made known to me in totally unexpected ways. Even a movement further into doubt and discernment is better and more fruitful than paralysis. Paralysis tends toward hopelessness.  Perhaps this is what Jesus is calling the disciples to do – to be of one mind – one direction – to move – to restore and strengthen their faith.

About WalkingwithBenedict

I love how scripture comes alive with messages for our lives today. In praying with scripture, we are called into deeper relationship with God and others. We are called to the growth in love, hospitality, peace, humility, stewardship and hope. St Benedict's Rule provides a lens for how scripture can be lived in our lives today whether we live inside or outside a monastery.
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2 Responses to Of Two Minds: Doubt and Belief

  1. R. Ann says:

    Will I doubt or will I believe? Hmmm….I ponder this question while I find myself on the verge of having to make some important decisions on some things that I have been discerning for quite some time. Will I doubt that God will let me know the right path? Or will I believe with my whole heart that he has always let me know his will in one way or another. Perhaps I am doubting my ability to listen/hear his voice? But now I am realizing that just maybe my doubt, my being of “two minds” just might be making me paralized! I must move. Move past the fear, the loss and expectations as was so perfectly said above. Its scary. What if I am wrong and make the wrong decision?
    So now is the time to trust, to believe, to not be frightened nor allow doubt to arise in my heart. If I do, God’s presence will be revealed to me and then I can say with Thomas, “My Lord and My God!”


    • Thanks for such an honest sharing. It’s so difficult to trust and move forward – especially when we want with all our being to follow God’s will but are uncertain what that might be. As you say though, move forward and trust that we have a God that honors our process and journeys with us no matter what we choose.


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