What to Do When You Have Questions January 29, 2014

Young People Ask Hard Questions

What to Do When You Have Questions

Questions are opportunities to teach. God gave explicit instructions to Israel about what to say when your children ask (Deuteronomy 6:20-25).  And ask they will! All of us who have young people in our homes are well acquainted with the question, “Why?” It is the way we answer that determines the outcome. Everyone, young and old, has voiced sincere questions and concerns. They may be about doctrine, personal/family, eternity, morality, God, the Bible, relationships and the list goes on.

Questions cannot be ignored. In fact, they should be encouraged. Don’t scold or embarrass those with questions. As long as they are asking questions, they are open to instruction. This is not only true at church or school. It must begin at home.

Below are the simple truths for when those questions come:

1.  Keep asking questions but don’t expect anyone to have all the answers.

Adults have question too! We all do. You don’t have to be afraid of finding the truth.

2.  Know who to ask, when to ask, and how to ask.

Work at building respectful relationships with godly, mature people who can give you good answers from the wisdom they have accumulated.  Approach them privately and sincerely and listen to what they have to say.

Don’t begin with your peers. “Ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee” (Deuteronomy 32:7).

3.  Spend time in the Bible and prayer yourself and many of your questions will be answered.

Let the Lord speak for Himself. If you ask Him for wisdom, He will answer that prayer (James 1:5).

4.  Don’t reject the truth because you don’t understand one part of it.

Give it time. As you grow certain things that seem confusing now will become clearer.

5.  Accept the fact that every question does not have a simple, single sentence answer.  

Some things must be accepted by faith. Even atheists do this! Young believers should be willing to trust what God says and what those who love them have to say.

6.  When you still have questions, go back to what you know for sure.

Reaffirm the simple, basic things that you know to be God’s truth. Don’t let questions define your life. The devil loves to bring question marks. God brings periods and exclamation points! Live with certainty and refuse to allow your mind to “be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

7.  Share the answer with others.

When God makes something real to your mind, pass it along! If it helped you, it will help others.

A few weeks ago I spent an hour with a fine young man who is struggling with his faith. He had a lot of questions. I appreciated his respectful tone and willingness to listen to what the Bible has to say. When our time was finished I had not convinced him on every point or removed all doubt. But we had developed a meaningful conversation, a friendship, that will hopefully help him work through the questions in his mind.

More and more I understand what Solomon must have been feeling when he wrote to his son, “Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.  For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.  That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.  Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge.  That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightiest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?” (Proverbs 22:17-21).

I want my family and friends to learn the certainty of truth. Ultimately, I want them to know the God of truth. Every question is an opportunity for this if I am discerning enough to realize it and patient enough to answer.

We must give them truth. We must give it with a pleasant spirit. The words of my own dad make so much more sense today: “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.”

Resource: Download the FREE printout of “What to Do When You Have Questions.” Use it to teach these same principles to others.

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