The Doubts of Mother Teresa Are Not Mine!

By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 10, 2007

Recently there have been editorials and news stories appearing concerning Mother Teresa’s doubts about her faith. It has amazed me and quietly encouraged me to see all of the discussion this has bought about. It is a good thing because it helps all of us to think about our faith and what it truly means for our lives. It spurs us to ask ourselves, “If someone like Mother Teresa could doubt, what about my faith and my beliefs?” This is good to consider, especially if you question why or what you believe. However there are those who want to give Mother Teresa a simple pass by saying, “She was only human.” I do not concur and here is why:

The problem I have with just dubbing Mother Teresa as just being “human,” is that this could be seen as an excuse for anyone’s doubts. Now I am not saying that she was super human, nor that she should be considered a “saint” in the Catholic sense. Let me explain. While we all may go through doubts from time to time, we discover that Mother Teresa’s persisted and were rampant throughout her life. Why? If she were walking with Christ in an intimate relationship, I strongly doubt this would have been the case.

This is not to say that Christians cannot doubt their salvation, however, while I have counseled many Christians who were missionaries, pastors, deacons, elders, and simple lay folk who have doubted their relationship — they never doubted God loved them nor that He existed, nor the question of if there was really a heaven. Like Mother Teresa continually did. True, some were lead to the Lord because they realized they entered into ministry as a way to assuage their own guilt, satisfy family members, or because of peer pressure rather than answering a specific call of God. Several realized their need of a Savior and then you serve out of love for Him, not from guilt or peer pressure.

And this is the crux of the matter: Mother Teresa continually doubted her relationship with Christ, her God, her salvation, her goodness or sinfulness, heaven, and the existence of God! Tragically, all too often I have found this to be too true in many of the lives of devout Catholics I personally know. (Remember I was once one as well and many in my family are now.) They are never quite sure of their faith, their relationship with Christ, often serve God out of personal guilt, never know if they are truly saved completely by God’s grace through Jesus, and are always trying to be “good enough” for God to love them. Catholic theology supports and encourages this spiritual psychosis.

Personally, I will never ever forget when I discovered the liberty of knowing without a doubt the truth that “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast!” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV) Now, I know there will be those of you who will say otherwise, but reread what I just wrote. Sure there are Catholics who have come to a saving knowledge of Christ and are secure in their faith, however, this is not the norm for Catholicism. In fact it is exactly as I describe it being filled with doubt, fear, and never knowing if they have obtained being “good enough” for God.

I am reminded of the old hymn that portrays this beautiful truth so clearly:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

If only Mother Teresa could have known the peace that passes all understanding, then she would have never doubted so persistently throughout her life. The doubts of Mother Teresa are not mine and I pray they are not yours either! Amen and amen!
This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2007 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.


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