I love the way Jesus used questions:
But who do you say that I am? (Luke 9:20)
Do you believe this? (John 11:26)
Do you not yet understand? (Mark 8:21)
When I was young, I’m certain I asked many questions. Children simply do. We are innately born seekers, longing to grasp what we do not yet understand.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped asking some of the good and necessary questions. I became so convinced I was right and bold in my “right thinking” that I lost patience with wandering thoughts.
I have been rediscovering the importance of asking the right questions.
While sharing dinner with friends, I flipped through one of their books and found this one: “When we say Jesus ‘paid the price’ for our sins, who did He pay it to? God? Satan? Someone or something else?”
I was stumped. Here is a phrase I have spoken, sung, shared, and used. At 32 years old, for the very first time I was asking myself: What in the world does it mean?
Sidebar: This is a legitimate and important question. I’m reading and exploring it, and the implications are massive. If you’d like to discuss it further, please contact me, and I will send you some of the books I’m now reading on the topic.
In exploring this question, I’ve discovered more of the grace and holiness of God. I’m learning more about His holy wrath, more about His healing love, more about the eternal nature of a God who, “In Christ was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
My personal walk with Christ will be richer for wrestling through this question. My proclamation of the Gospel will be more accurate because of the research it requires. My awe at the character of my God is deepened because of the right questions.
Equally, I sat earlier this week with a pastor in London I love and respect. He kindly said to me (about another issue):
“But Sarah, that’s the wrong question.”
I received it. As I reflected on that statement, it created a clear division between the kinds of questions we ask.
There are the good, honest, Christ-centered questions that draw us more into His Scriptures and presence.
Too often, I am guilty of asking the critical, cutting “prove me right” kind of questions. No one wins with these. Even if I do prove myself right, I’ve cut and damaged in the process. Many authors, speakers, and individuals are wrestling with hard questions, which is important. But I find too often, the kindness and redemptive grace of God are missing in these discussions.
I am the first to say that I have been guilty of the same. As I walk daily in a country that is far from God and with a culture that sees no need for His presence, I pray that the questions I ask would reveal only the beauty of His love. I pray that I would be faithful in asking the questions that lead to Christ and build up my brothers and sisters. Those are the ones worth asking, all eternity long.
For, “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant to our fathers?”-Malachi 2:10