In light of the controversy surrounding the NFL's St. Louis Rams drafting the gay defensive lineman out of the University of Missouri, Michael Sam, I share this insightful perspective from my friend, Tom Kinnan.
"Questions…they come at us all the time. And…our natural instinct is to want to answer. In fact, there are times we want to provide answers that will astound and leave the questioner in awe of our brilliance. Oh…you know it’s true.
But is that necessary? You see…questions often are full of agendas. Questions have the ability to polarize, stigmatize and antagonize. Remember the age old question, “Do you still beat your wife?” How do you answer that without losing?!
One of today’s similar questions is this: “Why do Christians hate homosexuals?” What?! How do you even begin to answer that question without seeming to be defensive or assuming the idea behind the question is valid? We need to stop trying to figure out the answers and strive to better understand the one asking the question. How do we do that?
Ask questions that honestly probe rather than assume or attack. If someone comes at you with a double barrel question…don’t pull the trigger for them. It won’t be pretty when it’s over. It would be better to come back with “Why do you ask?” From there, continue to ask questions seeking to get at the heart of the matter. Sometimes you may discover a parched soul rather than a loaded gun.
You see…we don’t need to prove we are right…or better…or more informed. We don’t need to reflect negatively on others for any reason. We don’t need to be the conscience for others. God is more than capable. We do need to provide light that helps others see the road. But any light coming from us is not our own…the light is God. We are a lamp stand. Before we give directions, we might want to discover where the questioner is headed and not assume. We need to ask questions…seek to discover…desire to understand. That doesn't mean we throw out the truth…on the contrary. We want to ask questions that help others discover truth.
Jesus was not only full of wisdom…He was full of questions (read the Gospels); and, as God’s Word says…full of grace and truth. Discoveries are nice when truth is mixed with grace: it’s more welcoming… more inviting…more desirable.
Would you like to help people discover Christ? Learn to ask questions instead of thinking you must have all the answers. I offer this principle to remember: it’s not always what you answer, it’s what you ask that can make the difference."
Thanks! Good words, Pastor Tom!