by Ancil Jenkins
Doubt is a subtle demon. It creeps in at times of distress, pain, and fear. Doubting is not sinful; failing to act on doubts is. Honesty demands an examination and a resolution of doubts. As one examines doubts, his heart is comforted. The truth will silence doubts or will show a different path that should be taken. But often the search for truth is a long one, and doubts must be endured until the answer is found. During that interim, how should one reason? Must he abandon his faith until a study has removed the last question? Let me raise questions for consideration by those who may be wavering in their faith, plagued by doubts: As a Christian, even if the doubts are true, what have I missed through believing in God? Even if there is no God, no true Word, and no heaven, what does a Christian miss by living a righteous, faithful life?
A Christian is far better off physically than an unbeliever. Our bodies, says Paul, are the temple of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1). A temple must be treated with respect and care. Proper diet, exercise, and preventive medicine should be a part of a Christian's life. He will not abuse his body with drugs and other harmful substances. He will avoid putting himself in situations that are evil and hurtful. Drunken driving, fights, and other law-breaking activities can not threaten him physically. Why? Because they are not a part of his life!
A Christian is better off materially because of his values. Basic honesty affects one's business. He does not seek illegal or unethical advantage. He is careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody (Romans 12:17). People will want to do business with him because they know they will be treated fairly and truthfully. God's child is doubly blessed. He has enough for himself and enough to share with those who are in need (Ephesians 4:28). He enjoys the pleasure of having all he requires and the greater blessing of giving to help others.
The Christian loses nothing socially by his commitment to Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, he should grow in favor with men (Luke 2:52). He may not be liked for his faith and practice, but he will be respected for his dedication to what he believes. A man once remarked that he intended to go and hear a certain preacher. Someone asked him why since he did not believe as that preacher did. His response was, "Because he believes what he preaches and I like to hear people like that."
Christian relationships are not corrupted by many of the practices of the world. Because he will be true to his marriage vows, the Christian will not know the attendant heartbreak of adultery or sexual perversions and a broken home. "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it . .. husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies ... " (Ephesians 5:25, 28). A stable marriage adds to life's pleasures and meaning. A Christian is also a good neighbor since he loves his neighbor as himself (Matthew 22:37-38).
What about a Christian's emotional life? Emotional turmoil may cause the Christian to seek counsel. There is no shame in this. Yet, Christian counsel will bring insights that will provide help and recovery faster and in a more meaningful, permanent way than the counsel of non-Christian advisors. With God at the center, the child of God is not disturbed and plagued by many of the world's emotional ills.
What does one lose by being a Christian? Nothing but negatives and problems! Even if there is no God, no heaven or hell, no biblical authority for moral values, the Christian's quality of life is still far better than that of the unbeliever. The really important question is not "What does the Christian lose if the unbeliever is right," but "What does the unbeliever lose if the Christian is right?" Even if somehow the unbeliever managed to gain the world, he would lose his own soul, and that is the greatest loss of all.