I listen to the questions in my life with interest. I often find myself letting a question trigger an emotional response. I try to blame the question or the questioner, yet the reality is that I gave up my freedom to the emotions I left unchecked within. Even as others tried to strengthen me, although there were different options available to me in how I could respond, I let an unthinking part of my soul respond. The results were devastating. People I care about were hurt. I told others and myself that I was more important than they were. I wasted precious time.
There are several other ways to deal with questions. First, I can see every question as an opportunity to engage, interact, and dialogue. Invitations to be part of another's life are far less frequently than I anticipate. When they do come, no matter how similar the question is or even if it has already been answered, I should hold on with hands and heart.
Second, questions can be used to reinforce what one already knows to be true. When I hear a question that I think I have answered, I can see it as a request for reassurance. It is a model that has been tried and tested for years. “By the Holy Spirit you spoke through the mouth of your servant and our father, David: Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples? Earth's leaders push for position, potentates meet for summit talks, the God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers!” (Acts 4.26)
Third, I can remember that art of listening with the intent of learning often starts with question. Questions are a way of signaling that one wants to hear and understand. Questions are a ways of interacting with the intent of growth. Questions are a tool for change.
I lost several question opportunities recently. Today I intend to make sure that I get a few back. As important as the questions are that I find myself asking, it is even more important to respond in good faith to the questions I hear.
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