What to do When I Overthink My Faith

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I have a disease. I struggle with what I call “Overthinkitis.” Okay, I admit, I’ve never called it that before, I just made that up. Regardless, this disease looks something like this: if I can’t fully figure something out, I’m not that interested in thinking about it. If I can’t do something well or master a concept, I don’t want to do it at all. I overthink it, overanalyze it, beat it to death in my head, and then usually give up on it.

I think many of us do that when it comes to our faith in Christ. We want to fully figure it out. We want to know all there is to know. We want to be really good at it. And when we find that we have questions, when we realize we have doubts, after we’ve screwed it up several times, we give up on it. We dismiss it. We turn away from it.

In John 9, there’s a story of Jesus healing a man who’s been blind since birth. Some of the religious leaders hear about it and are ticked because Jesus healed him on the Sabbath. They begin to overthink the situation. They call the man in to question him about the healing. They call in his parents. They argue, disagree, analyze what happened, doubt it can be from God, think maybe somebody’s making it up, and create a big, ugly scene.

Finally, in a climactic moment, the religious leaders, frustrated by the situation, say, “We know this man is a sinner!”

The story says, “The man answered, ‘I don’t know whether he’s a sinner. Here’s what I do know: I was blind and now I see.'” (John 9:25 CEB)

I love this response! It’s a simple statement on the power of what Jesus did in this man’s life. He doesn’t focus on the things about Jesus he does NOT know, but on the one thing he’d experienced. Too often we focus so much attention and energy on the things that we don’t know about Jesus that we miss or ignore the things we do know. And instead of giving thanks to God for what we DO know or what we HAVE experienced, we’re tempted to dismiss Jesus altogether because we can’t fully comprehend him.

What if, instead of overthinking, overanalyzing, and ultimately dismissing Jesus because we can’t figure him out, we took this man’s example and simply focused on what we do know?

What do I know about Jesus? What do I know about his effect on my life? What do I know about the things in the world around me? Can I focus on those things and not worry about the things I don’t know?

God, give me clarity to focus on what I do know about Jesus and to not worry or be concerned with the things I don’t know.

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