Righteously Addressing Questions

         Have you ever been in a Bible study where someone asked a question and that person was given the side eye and their question was ignored? Many Christians can be apprehensive to explore questions and doubts because they can be seen as an opportunity to challenge or diminish their faith. Proverbs 4:23 reads, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” However, children of God are also commanded to explore their faith and show mercy on those who are spiritually struggling.

            Lamentations 3:40 reads, “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!” In the New Testament, the Pharisees lost their faith because they grew spiritually indignant and wouldn’t examine their convictions. In Matthew 15:2, they asked Jesus why His disciples broke Jewish tradition by not washing their hands when they ate. Jesus replied, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’  But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, ‘What you would have gained from me is given to God’, he need not honor his father.” Humans can mean well, but we are fallible creatures that can quickly offend God and others if we are not careful. Christians must constantly examine how they act–especially during worship–and compare it to God’s word to see if their conduct is truly based on His standards.

When speaking about the heart behind their faithful actions, Jesus tells the Pharisees in John 3:39-41, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.” The Pharisees had the word of God in their hands but they searched it to glorify themselves instead of Him. By becoming spiritually indignant to their own selfish ways, they lost sight of the Old Law’s purpose. God’s children must not explore His word with a selfish or self-righteous motivation. The Bible is a way for all to develop a close relationship with God through knowing the example and teachings of His son.

When the Pharisee Nicodemus approached Jesus with questions about baptism, He answered them with honesty, love, and respect (John 3). Jude 22-23 reads, ”And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” Christians need to respond to the world by following Jesus Christ’s example because it is the way souls can be eternally saved. The fear that Jude 1:22-23 mentions is a Godly fear. This means God’s children will not sacrifice His principles to make Him more appealing to others. Leading others to God cannot be done successfully if His truth is not correctly taught. Also, questions aren’t always intended to agonize. Some people are simply curious while others are asking because of a personal pain or complicated history. This is why believers must provide a safe and appropriate environment where everyone can encouragingly nurture their faith.