A Break Up Note: With Certainty

You just think about what you've done, Certainty.
You just think about what you’ve done, Certainty.

Dear Certainty,

Sorry to do it this way, but it’s over.

     We had our time, and it was good. You really strengthened me over the years. You gave me courage to say and do some pretty awesome things. Because of you, I–more or less–stayed out of trouble when I was young. You helped me in college, and that was nice. Because of you, I was never really unsure of where to go with my life. I really need to thank you for that.

     But let’s be honest, Certainty, you’ve gotten me into a number of fights, too. I’m nervous that I’ve said some things that weren’t altogether true, and may have hurt God’s reputation for some former friends. But because you were with me, I said them anyway.

     You also made me feel guilty for questioning things, learning new perspectives, and really, growing. You never really let me imagine life or a relationship with God without you. You never let me consider breaking up with you. I feel like that was a little bit over stepping on your part.

     In all seriousness, Certainty, you’ve done some fantastic damage. Don’t pretend that you and Humility can even sit in the same room together. You’ve forbidden other lovers and friends, like Wonder, Charity, Gentleness, Amazement, and Lament. Worst of all, Certainty, you’ve masqueraded as Faith, and claimed yourself to be the chief Christian virtue. No one is allowed to question you.

     Because of this, you’ve driven a wedge between people of different faiths, between Christians who draw the lines of exclusion based on their favorite few verses, between theological education and local church ministry, between people in my own denomination, between the pastor down the street and myself, even between my mother and me.

     You’ve hurt me bad, Certainty, so I gotta ask, what are you? An idol or something worse?

     So, we’re done. I’ve been seeing Faith for a while now anyway. Faith continues to point me to the God on the Cross who says, “I love you,” even when everything in the world may tell me otherwise.  Faith encourages me to live and love as Christ calls us to, even when I’m operating on limited information. Faith allows me explore critiques of my religion, other people’s view points, even my own doubts, without getting all insecure. Faith is teaching me that my walk with Christ is not about me getting all the answers right, but it is about his grace. Faith has been real good to me.

     I’m hanging out with some other friends like Confidence, and Courage, too. I used to think they were you, too. But they’re something different, and they seem to go along with Faith pretty regularly. 

     I may even try to get to know Humility, but apparently she keeps it pretty discreet.

     Well, Certainty, I guess this is it. I’m gonna let people know they can have Faith without you. I don’t mean to be malicious, but, well, you’ve already hurt a lot of people I know, and I just don’t really think you’re good for anyone, right now.

Best wishes,

Ric Shewell