How old we are, oftentimes directly affects our beliefs about things. Prior to the onset of abstract thinking, we tend to take concepts at face value and quite literally. You don’t really question things like Creation and the Garden of Eden, or the Great Flood and the Ark. These are all things you just accept, because…God. AS you age and critical thinking and abstract thought begin to surface we often find ourselves replacing that child-like faith with fervor. Passion and really felt faith, begins to be how we identify our belief. We are seventeen, invincible and we know everything. God is awesome, and we are on top of the world.
Then it happens, the great crises of faith. This fervency is abated. Usually, it goes hand in hand with an emotional crises, or introduction to new world views that we were not prepared for. But as you slide into your twenties that fervor recedes along with the gallons and gallons of hormones you were living off of. Then, for many, the twenties are a time of darkness and struggle. Either a slow terrifying sink into doubt and unbelief, or a titanic struggle to justify the loss of fervor that you identified as spiritual certainty.
Why do so many succumb to doubt and then unbelief at this period in their life? The excuses are legion, but the reasons are actually few. They have been seduced by an action movie faith. They reach high fervor and settle in thinking this all there is to faith, and certainty. When the tide of emotion and bodily chemical start to normalize they are left hollow and since they identified certainty and faith with that range of positive emotions, when they began to fade, so went their faith, to be replaced by doubt and unbelief.
Understanding these changes for what they are can help. Recognizing and accepting physiological changes and on-setting maturity will help in forming a foundational faith structure. Replacing these romantic notions of faith with more realistic ones may not be easy, but it will be good.