Asking questions is an important part of life. They provide insight into things we don’t know or understand and can help bring clarity when there is confusion. Asking questions is something we all did as children, to the point of driving our parents crazy, but we learned and discovered by doing it.
There is one question today that seems to have fallen off the map. It’s a question that children often ask but adults seem reluctant to engage in. It’s a question that is simple yet profound. It can bring unity when there is division, healing when there’s hurt, and peace when there’s pain. Yet this question seems to be the most avoided question in our country today. Can you guess the question?
That’s right, the simple one-word question… “Why”? No one really seems to ask “why” anymore. As kids we never stopped asking “why”, but as adults, we rarely go there. So why don’t we ask “why”? Why are we more comfortable with superficial accusations, labels, and judgments like, “she is mean”, “he is greedy”, “they are liberal or conservative” than we are with understanding, “Why is she mean?”, “Why is he greedy?”, “Why are they liberal or conservative?”.
Are we afraid of the answer? Do we assume we know? Or does it make us feel better by making someone else wrong? Although I can’t answer this “why” question for you, I do pose it to you to answer for yourself.
As you ponder your answer, consider the benefits of asking “why”. By asking and answering “why”, you will begin to better understand how people think, feel, process, and make decisions. It will bring clarity where there is confusion, compassion when there is frustration, reconciliation when there is division, and humility when there is pride. Asking “why” is a powerful question that can provide powerful results.
In scripture, we see that God values the “why” question. He is constantly prompting us to look at ourselves and ask “why”? When Jesus recognized a group of people operating in spiritual duplicity, he didn’t simply label them as hypocrites but took them a level deeper by asking the “why” question.
Luke 6:46 – “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
By asking “why”, we will discover the deeper issues that are really taking place. So much of life is lived on the surface today, but when we understand the “why”, we discover valuable information that can lead to more fruitful and productive discussion. Understanding why can help de-villianize others and increase communication even in our differences. I believe the more we ask and answer “why”, the more we will discover we are all wrestling with the same thing but simply living it out in different ways. Asking why will also open the door and provide valuable insight for sharing The Gospel!
So before you assume, categorize, or label people, engage in some good old childlike discussion and start asking and answering “why” more often. It may change your life!
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