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Changing unacknowledged skepticism and practical unbelief

March 28, 2007

I was sharing with a friend yesterday regarding some growth I have been going through lately as I have been wrestling with what God’s character is like. There are several things that I have learned lately that have left me unsettled because I liked my previous understanding of God’s character, even though I now know it was wrong. Some of those changes in my understanding have come from wrestling with ideas that were presented in a couple sermons last August through October. I still have not come to terms with the concepts presented in those sermons, and I struggle with myself regarding that because I often feel I am choosing not to believe or understand something even though it is shown to me in scripture that it is true.

I came across this quote the other day:
“Perhaps the hardest thing for sincere Christians to grasp is the level of practical unbelief in their own lives-the acknowledged skepticism of Jesus that permeates all dimensions of their being. This unacknowledged skepticism undermines the efforts they do make toward Christlikeness. The idea that you can trust Christ for salvation and not intend to obey him is an illusion generated by the prevalence of an unbelieving “Christian culture”.” (Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard and Randy Frazee)

I know that many of my doubts, questions, and areas of unbelief are brought on by what I see and don’t see in our culture and in the lives of others who profess to be Christians. I confess that I have a problem. I believe the world should make sense. I believe people’s words and actions should match. I believe that when I am shown truth I should believe it. I guess I have another problem….I am choosing to acknowledge my skepticism and come to terms with it. I am choosing to recognize my unbelief and admit it not only to myself, but to others around me. Often that isn’t received well by others because it shines a light on the unbelief of skepticism they hold. Changing our ideas, values, and beliefs is probably the most difficult and painful thing in human life. At least I have a better understand of the disquiet and frustration I have felt for the last few weeks. Now if only God will let me go through the next season without another round of pruning!

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