Previously, I looked at how important questioning is for vital faith and how to avoid questions which seek to confuse rather than enlighten. The serpent in Eden was throwing a question at Eve in order to confuse here, to throw her off the clear truth that God had given her. This shows us that good questioning should always be looking for truth not avoiding it.
There are other questioners in Scripture and today we’ll look at another: the rich, young ruler of Matthew 19. He asks Jesus what is, on its face, a very good question. Essentially it is, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” That’s a pretty good question. I would love to hear that question every day of my life. But when Jesus answers and we see what lies under the surface of a good question. The rich young ruler was asking, not in order to do what was required but so that he could avoid doing any more than he was already inclined to do. There are many times when the answers to our questions will not stroke us but challenge us. Challenge us to change, to obey, to lay down our own wisdom.
As a pastor, I hear lots of questioning from both Christians and non relating to the area of sexual ethics. What does God say about it? How should I approach dating? How far can I go with my boy/girlfriend? These are all good questions. But how would the questioner react with an answer? Would they be willing to change? Or would they be dismayed? Did the rich, young ruler actually want an answer?
Questions are so important. Why are we here? Is there a God? If so, what is He like? What is His will? How then should we live? The world, both those inside and outside Christian faith, needs to explore those continually and learn what answers we can. But we can only arrive at truth if we approach our questioning seeking to be changed by the answers.
When you ask a question, are you really seeking an answer? Even one that might challenge you?
Stay tuned for Part III.