Doubt Caused by Ghosts of the Past

In this familiar story, Jesus tells Peter that he lacked faith and asked, “Why did you doubt me?” The answer to this question might be twofold.

When the disciples first noticed that there was someone walking on water in a torrential storm, they thought that it was a ghost.

Ghosts represent someone (or, something) from the past that is no longer living.

It is possible that the disciples were fearful of a part of themselves that they thought was dead, but returned as if it were alive.

“When the disciples saw him walking on water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” (Matthew 14:26)

“Yes come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink...”
(Matthew 14:29-30, In context: Matthew 14:22-36)

So one reason that doubt surfaced was because they thought that all of the old undesirable things of their past had been buried, never to return again only to discover that the past still haunted them.

Peter was faithful enough to step out onto the water with Jesus.

But once he took stock of his environmental conditions, he decided that this new act that he was performing by faith could not hold up to the calamity that surrounded him at that present moment.

Looking at a threatening situation with natural instead of spiritual eyes causes the second reason for disbelief.

When you are reminded of elements of your past life and then are thrust into conditions that resemble your past, this can cause you to have doubt in the present.

What may help is to look at the situation from a spiritual standpoint.

Ask yourself, “does this storm fall into alignment with what God has promised me?” or “am I applying an old mindset to a new situation?”

The past will always be a part of you in some capacity, but having faith in God and patiently developing your spiritual life will act as a safeguard against a full-fledged lapse into an old pattern of living.

You can be mindful of the ghosts of the past without allowing them to implant doubt into your mind when navigating through this spiritual journey called life.

You have the grace to work through these emotions and triumph over the ghosts of your past.

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