You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers.
You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions."

Naguib Mahfouz (Egyptian novelist and screenplay writer 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature) 

In discussions, I too often desire to share "my abundant knowledge," give inspiring advice or workable solutions rather than asking questions — questions that will genuinely clarify and shed light on the issues of the discussion.

Jesus often asked questions. His questions were shaped by His divine love and particular knowledge of each person. They cut through the clutter and respectfully addressed the real issues that people had. For instance, when an expert in the law tested Jesus by asking,

  Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus responded, What is written in the Law? How do you read it? (Luke 10:26 NIV) 

Yet when a rich young ruler came to Jesus with a similar question,

Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? Jesus responded with a different question, Why do you ask me about what is good? (Matthew 19:16-17 NIV) 

So perhaps my contributions to conversations would be enhanced by not only asking more questions, but also asking the right questions. That requires God's guidance. He may also guide me at times away from words and into silence and quiet prayer. But that requires immense humility and that is for another Lesson.

Join me this week in seeking God's guidance for relevant questions rather than quick answers.


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder