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TeenConnect: Fact or Fiction

Benefit of the doubt

From the Christian Science Sentinel - April 26, 2016

From the teen series: Fact or Fiction - April 26, 2016

TeenConnect: Fact or Fiction?

Fiction: “As a Christian Scientist, I’m not allowed to have any doubts.”

Fact: When I was younger, I never doubted Christian Science. It just made sense to me. Fast forward several years, and my world turned upside down. A car accident. A physical problem. And then a friend passed on.

I started to wonder: Could I have been wrong about Christian Science all these years? Is this the point where Christian Science fails me? Christian Science was the foundation for who I was—how I understood myself, made decisions, kept friendships going, and found a sense of peace and belonging. I felt so lost that summer. The doubt was overwhelming. 

I suspect this might have been a similar feeling to what the disciples experienced after Christ Jesus’ crucifixion. Overwhelmed by a crushing sense of doubt, they gave up their healing practices and returned to their previous lives as fishermen. Even Peter, who might be characterized as the eager Sunday School student among the disciples, denied even knowing Jesus in that dark moment. And yet, after the resurrection, Christ Jesus sought out the disciples and addressed their doubts in a way that spoke to them individually. 

Doubt didn’t have to cause my faith to unravel.

One day, when I least expected it, I had my own moment of being “sought out.” As my thoughts churned with unanswered questions and fears, a clear idea broke through: “If this is a Science, it won’t be broken by your questions. Keep asking Me.” It was the same Christ, the spirit of Truth that transformed the disciples’ doubt into renewed faithfulness, lifting me out of my own darkness. After that, my prayer began to change from a pleading monologue with God into conversations with a close friend. Grief faded. Scars disappeared. And my faith was deepened and strengthened.  

I came to an important realization that day: Doubt didn’t have to cause my faith to unravel or derail my practice of Christian Science. Instead, it could become the impulsion for my prayers—challenging me to go deeper in my understanding of God and my God-given spiritual identity. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “One’s aim, a point beyond faith, should be to find the footsteps of Truth, the way to health and holiness” (p. 241). It’s our time spent in prayer, wrestling with doubts and fears, and turning to God for deeper insight, that moves us beyond just having faith to achieving an enriched understanding, practice, and demonstration. 

I’ve experienced doubts since that experience—some that shook me to my very core. But that same voice is always there: “I’m still here. Keep asking Me.” It’s there for you, too—seeking you out, allaying your fears, and deepening your understanding of your relationship to God. Questions asked in prayer do lead to answers. And though the journey won’t always be easy, it is worth it.

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