External Stimuli’s Effect on Doubt
When one thinks about doubt, or any issue similarly tied to emotion and thought, one almost always turns inward. Introspection becomes the rule of the day. You close the shutters, lock the doors and turn the lights down low. No one is home, or answering the door anyway. The very core of doubt is thinking of oneself in relationship to something else. So why, would you not spend your energy focusing inward?
What one tends to forget is the obvious effect outward stimulus can have on doubt. What do you read? What types of shows do you watch? Media consumed is the single most ignored but pervasive sources of influences in the average Westerner’s life. Are your friends and those you surround yourself with encouraging? Or are they even doubt-filled themselves? Does the Music you listen to do anything to edify or lift you up? Are you sedentary or Active? Is the job you are in oppressive? Are you close enough to supportive family? Do you ever go out of your way to get out of your head and server others? Answering these questions privately and honestly may help you to discover some of the sources or at least influences of your doubt.
While not advocating reclusive monastic life choices, understanding these influences will go light years toward addressing and dealing with doubt. Perhaps you cannot leave the oppressive job, or should you even cut ties suddenly with a friend because they are not a wonderful Christian? Certainly not! But first understanding and taking inventory of these influences then making adjustments to habits and thought patters will go a long way in dealing with doubt. Locking oneself darkly away in one’s head will inevitably lead to the perpetuation of doubt. Alternatively, action, positive input and encouragement can all foster the growth of doubt’s ancient enemy, hope.