Most people today find it easy to be skeptical. How could we not be? We all know what it’s like to be let down. We’ve all experienced the pain of disappointment when things didn’t work out quite the way we thought. So, we tend to take everything we hear with a grain of salt. We hedge our bets so that we can keep from having our hopes destroyed. We tell ourselves that a little bit of skepticism can be a good thing. We don’t want to be naive. We don’t want others to take advantage of our gullibility. We don’t want to let our guard down only to get hurt again.
And yet, the problem arises when we take this same attitude of skepticism and apply it to faith. We can read the promises in the Bible with a mindset of skepticism that keeps them from feeling real. We can come into the church with an attitude of skepticism that keeps us from true community. It’s hard to trust God when you’re always expecting to be let down. It’s hard to get to know others more deeply when you always have your guard up. Either our skepticism and our faith will learn how to be compatible, or they can eventually become combustible.
As we approach the Easter season, we’re going to spend a few weeks looking at the Bible’s ultimate skeptic — the disciple known as “Doubting Thomas.” In the weeks leading up to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, Thomas showed himself to be quite the skeptic. He had some trouble wrapping his mind around what God was up to. Looking at his doubts and disbeliefs can give us a window into our own skepticism. How do we balance faith and doubt? How can we let go of our skepticism and hold tight to our Savior? Perhaps we can see the answers to those questions a little differently once we see them through the eyes of the original skeptic.