The devil assails me with doubt (1999)

Hi guys,

U know, guys, as I type this, there are a million and one thoughts going thru my head. I know that plenty of us right now are feeling distressed and sad. There seems to be so many things bogging us, who are so young and with so much energy, down that sometimes i wonder what kind of life we are leading. I mean, it’s not just school work. I wonder too, if youth a few hundred or even decades ago had to go thru the things we are going thruright now. But hey, I’m sad too, so here’s some thoughts from a sad man.

Basically, I don’t know why I’m even writing this letter. But I do have one thing i need to get off my chest..ever heard of cognitive dissonance?

When you are not acting the way you perceive you should be? An example would be: “I am the type of guy that does not litter.” When I litter, Ifeel a great sense of dissonance and seek to change my behavior to suit my particular perception of myself. That’s exactly how I feel right now guys.

When I sit alone in my room doing QT (when I do have the time that is), I read the bible faithfully, and it reminds me that I need to seek out and save the lost souls that I know. I pray, asking Him to help me. But when I reach school, I start to talk and joke with my friends, (mostly godless chatter, I CONFESS!) and all thoughts of them burning in hell are neatly wiped away. All thoughts of putting on God’s armour and charging into the midst of the lost to redeem them dissipates. Where is my great and fiery sword of the Word? When cynics challenge my God, I find it difficult to smite them down with my God-given logic, (bad mistake, cos faith is illogical) and to them, the Word is a load of gibberish. Why do we have a monopoly on truth? The bible tells me so, I know, but it’s not good enough for them. I’m tired, I don’t want to lose my friends, and I give up.

Then when I get back to my room and look at my bible, I just remember that I’ve not kept my promise to myself. I try to come up with excuses or reasoning: hey, I just dunno the words to say that will touch their hearts.

Or they are so resistant to listening. But I always know deep in my heart, that no matter what i say, it’s not good enough, i don’t really try that hard you know.

Then doubt sets in. I’m a cynical man, or boy whatever. I believe in Christ, but doubt often attacks, or should i say, come up silently and get me strangled suddenly. I’ve been a Christian for the past year, but I dunno if i ever told you that i’ve fought major battles of reasoning with God. We say faith is believing in something that you cannot see, well, I’ve been arguing with my faith. What do I doubt about? I doubt my ability to change anything, i take the defeatist attitude: God is in charge man, everything is sorted out by him. Whose hearts has he decided to harden? What’s the point for me then?

I doubt my ability to share the gospel, even if many of you think i can talk to anyone that i wish to. I can, but i find it difficult to follow up the initial conversations that I make with strangers. Big smile, that can get anyone smiling back, but how many people have i bothered to continue having relationships? I’m sure u can understand many people we meet, it’s just touch and go.

From what I know, all of us always ask God, “Why me?” I’ve stopped asking that, rather, I ask,”Are you sure?” Then God always comes to shut me up by showing me what He wants and what He has done. It’s funny man, when I doubt the existence of God (“horrors!” i can imagine some of you saying), He shows me things that tell me “You are so wrong, I’m here, can’t you see?” I get shocked when my prayers get answered, even now, because I know I have yet to fully acknowledge His abilities. I was reading that day that we should pray with faith, so can you imagine what is it like to pray without truly believing and then see it fulfilled? I never seem to learn my lessons.

Maybe it’s all part of growing pains. Everyday I wake up and moan, what a horrible life I have, then when I am wise enough, I always force myself to count my blessings. I have everything that I could ever want (except u-know-wat, but that’s just plain foolishness). Selfless things I’ve asked for myself, I’ve gotten: my scholarship, my improved relationship with people that I love but never dared to express my feelings, my mum’s health….it’s uncountable. What’s losing your hair to compare? (that irks me plenty though, I’m just vain I guess) Despite all our shortcomings and some little unhappiness with our lives, is it not accurate to say that we LK Youth are a very blessed bunch?

Now, I ask myself, what can I do to bring others into this same blessed circle? And I fall so short. I have no excuse, but yet I don’t do anything. I’ll tell myself, it’s the exams, gotta study, but I’ve come to realise that peoples’ hearts are hardening daily, esp in the uni. Learning philosophy, history, economics ,student politics and how to become cynical makes people less aware of God. In this way, I am thankful I was and still am a hardcore cynic to begin with. Sometimes I think I haven’t changed much since one year ago, sometimes I think I have. When I read this letter again, I realise there must be some change, so where’s the action? Why am I so comfortable with not doing anything until lately? It’s not the messages that have been preached lately, maybe it is, but along with many other sorrows, this issue is weighing me down badly. Sometimes I feel like putting all my debates with God down on paper, but that’ll make a big novel, no time man. There’s no point either, cos I always lose out. So there.

That’s all I have to say guys. Do take care of yourself and remember, the day will pass and there is always a better tomorrow! Count your blessings, count them one by one yah?


Why I did not believe

Why I believed

Life as a young believer

Cool pickup lines for the novice

Mid-life crisis at age 22

The Devil assails me with doubt

What to pray for?

Me and CS Lewis

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