The concept of doubt is expressed in a couple of different ways in Scripture, and they are important to distinguish between each other. There is doubt that describes someone who is wavering (διστάζω); having two sides, and doubt that is a result of justifying a way around (διακρίνω).
Wavering is when a person is unsure, or lacking confidence. It was this type of doubting that happened to Peter after he stepped out of the boat onto the sea with Christ in Matthew 14:31 that caused him to start sinking. After the resurrection of Christ, the 11 disciples were wavering, even after seeing Him, Matthew 28:17. Wavering is not a sin but does express only having a little faith. Being of little faith is often seen in relation to how God cares for us, Matthew 6:30.
The term for doubt that could cause a Christian to sin because they are doing something while doubting is a word that means to thoroughly judge or discern (διακρίνω). “Discerning” is the positive aspect of this word where “doubt” is the negative meaning. When Abraham believed God, he did not doubt in unbelief what God was saying; rather, he took Him at His Word, Romans 4:18. He did not attempt to justify his way around what God said. If a Christian does something while doubting, they can sin, Romans 14:23. However, this is not the same as wavering or being unsure. Thoroughly judging (doubting) is being used to justify one’s actions rather than taking God at His word. In the case of food, it would be coming up with a reason to be permitted to eat something that otherwise would defile your conscience before God, such as on a special occasion, or […]