Hi everyone! I’ve been MIA over the last few weeks as I settle into my new living quarters! Now that I’m less distracted I’m ready to get back into full swing again! I will be sharing about insomnia with you this month like I mentioned early, but today I wanted to share a perspective on “Doubting Thomas!”
Last Sunday at church the pastor was talking about “Doubting Thomas” from the Bible. You know, the disciple who didn’t believe that the other disciples had seen Jesus after the resurrection. In John 20: 25 Thomas says “…unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my fingers where the nails were, and put my hands into his side, I will not believe.” Many times, our direct experiences are the most powerful means of believing something. Thomas is given a pretty bad rap in the Christian community of being a doubter: of not believing unless he sees and actually touches Jesus’ body. But, Thomas’ belief was transformed and increased in strength through his direct experience of touching Jesus’ side! Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion!
Listening to this sermon got me thinking about how often we need to have proof of something in order to believe it, yet at the same time we are actually too afraid to look for, or experience, that proof. Once we have proof of something that leads to us to the uncomfortable position of having to act, or believe, differently based on the evidence we have. If we don’t act or believe differently, then we are in the uncomfortable position of feeling foolish, which we don’t like. Either way can be a hard place to be!
Sometimes when I’m in a counseling session with a client we will be talking about wanting to connect with another person, face a fear, or start on some plan of action. Of course it’s normal and helpful to talk these things through, but sometimes we stay in that head space for too long. Too many sessions have gone by and the person is still intellectualizing the thing but not acting on it. When this happens, usually fear of some sort is getting in the way.
Many times when we are working on making a change in our life, in our heart, or in our mind, we like to keep our distance and intellectualize, plan, analyze, critique, etc. things to death but we never actually do anything about it for fear of failure or rejection. But Thomas gives us a good example that having direct experience can lead to transformation; we SHOULD seek out direct experiences to either confirm or disconfirm our thoughts and allow our lives to be transformed by new experiences!
So, when you are struggling to understand something, to get closer to someone, to start that new venture, to face fears, or let go of the past, see if you can just NOTICE your tendency to intellectualize too much and while you are noticing that, see if you can take one or two step towards doing the thing, engaging with that person, facing that fear. Let your direct experience be your teacher. Learn from the evidence that comes from that direct experience and keep going. Just as in Thomas’ situation, sometimes we do need to see (or do) in order to believe!
I hope this post has been thought provoking. Leave a comment below and let me know what positive transformations you have had through your direct experience with “doing the thing.”
If you want to chat about any concerns or talk about whether counseling would be helpful to you, give me a call at 539-777-1129 or email me at Dr.Leedy@Legacycounselingservice.com
I look forward to hearing from you!