Someone much smarter than I am recently asked me an obvious question. What is the opposite of faith? Immediately my mind thought of what I knew (at that time) to be the correct answer. Doubt. He corrected me and shared that the opposite of faith isn’t doubt—it’s certainty.
Think about it with me. Both faith and doubt live on the same plain—the unknown. They are cousins of sorts. One has a more positive bent if you want to think of it that way, but both are beliefs. You can have faith that something is true and you can also doubt that something is true, but in both circumstances you aren’t certain. I have faith that I’m going to safely drive home after work tonight, and I doubt that my car will develop a mind of it’s own and drive off the road. But either way, I can’t be certain until it actually happens.
God could make Himself certainly known to the world, yet He doesn’t. He asks us to have faith. For some reason that is beyond me, God seems to see faith as more important for me than certainty. I’m learning to be ok with that.
Could it be that certainty makes us lazy? If I were certain I would make it home safely from work, I wouldn’t pay as close of attention while I was driving, and I could do something unsafe causing someone else to not make it home safely. And likewise, when I become certain of my beliefs, I become closed to new information and new thoughts. I believe God wants us to have faith so we keep pursuing the truth of who He is without being satisfied.
He is infinite, and there is so much more to know about Him than our finite brains could possibly comprehend, but our job is to know Him deeper and deeper every day. I’ve found my faith grows best when I keep questioning why I believe what I believe, when I allow God to breathe fresh thoughts into me, and when I have enough humility to think that I don’t know it all already.
Here’s my challenge for you. The next time you listen to a sermon, open the Bible, or read an article online, pretend like you aren’t certain of anything about God. Ask Him in faith to shape you. You might be surprised where your faith in God might need some remaking and how it starts to grow.