My two year old Roxy is full of questions. I mean bubbling over with questions.
“Daddy, why we eat breakfast?”
“Is that doggie happy?”
“When is Christmas?”
“Why can’t I growl at sissy when we pray?”
“How do I get tattoo?”
“Daddy, why do Roxy (Yahtzee) go on potty?”
“Who pee-pee’d in my bed? Not me!?”
“Why I not play with my food?”
You get the idea.
When she asks these questions, we begin to explain the reasons why we do and don’t do certain things. We talk through how we eat somewhere, why not to play with food, why we go on the potty. Then, you see a light bulb moment. Not always right away, but eventually, she gets it. She no longer questions why we go on the potty or why we eat breakfast. She understands and believes the answer.
The questions don’t stop as we get older. To the contrary. We experience even more questions and look for answers.
“Why did grandma die?”
“How come there are countries with no food and we have so much?”
“Why do I exist?”
“Is God real?”
“Why do people do evil things?”
“Is there a Heaven and Hell? If so, where am I going and how do I know for sure?”
“Why am I so sad and depressed?”
“What is the true meaning of life?”
“Will my kids grow up to be healthy and productive?”
“Why is my marriage falling apart?”
“Why doesn’t cancer have a cure yet?”
Some come to the answers quickly. Others believe we can never know the answers to these questions. Faith plays a role. Evidence and scientific proof. Logic. Study. Heart movement. Life experiences. The way we are raised. The people we surround ourselves with. The compilation of factors that contribute to our conclusions are vast. It’s definitely a beautiful thing to be able to look around, to gaze out into the never-ending landscape of life and begin to understand our existence, our life’s goals, and process the tough nature of this world we live in.
That lightbulb moment is so awesome. The joy in hearing the questions and people coming to conclusions about life & faith. It’s why I surrendered my life to serving God and His church. It’s the greatest occupation on the planet (I know I’m biased, ha). Over the years it’s been humbling to see hundreds of people come to a place of faith, trust, and surrender to an amazing God.
But, can we really ever be sure?
Can you or I ever be certain that what we believe is actually true?
Yes. Yes we can. Questions are healthy, vital, and needed. I ask myself & God questions about faith, life, and this world daily. I search, study, and research and frequently find myself landing at conclusions. Now, don’t get me wrong, I definitely have tons of questions I don’t understand and have yet to find answers to. Some I take on faith that God has handled or will handle, others I will just ask Him when I see Him face to face in Heaven. That being said… not all conclusions I land at are ones I like. Many times, more often than not, it fights directly against my nature & desires.
Serve the poor.
Give away your time to people.
Be kind to everyone, especially those who hate you.
You rebel against God daily. He loves you in the midst of your rebellion.
Your money isn’t yours.
Say your sorry.
While I don’t always like these answers, I’ve searched and found them to be true. So, as I’ve lived my life I’ve presented them to others to follow, have faith in, and move forward with. Now, when landing at truth and providing answers when people ask questions, you will be met with resistance. A proponent of belief in the answers to questions.
The biggest proponent of questions?
“Clearly people cannot love one another. Look at this place.”
“The church is just after my money. They don’t care about me.”
“God cannot exist. How can a loving God let this place be so wrecked?”
“They don’t want to help me. They just want to convert me.”
“Faith & religion is a crutch for the weak.”
Cynicism tells us that people are motivated by self-interest. It compels us to be distrustful of human sincerity or the integrity of others. Does everyone have an agenda? No. Do some people? Sure. So, how do we know the difference? How can we know someone is being genuine and honest? How do we know what is true and a clear answer?
- Believe the Best. Not everyone is out to get you or scam you. You are not always the target. Now I know that is hard to believe, but your demise is not the center of their universe and thoughts. There are people out there who actually love you, want the best for you, and simply want to share with you. So, don’t go into every interaction thinking people have an angle. There are honest people out there. More than you might think.
- Study For Yourself. Read up on things. Do some research. You don’t have to simply take someone’s word for it on anything and everything. You may believe them, but why not understand it for yourself.
- Embrace Faith. We all put faith in something. You put faith in the people who made the car when you put the key in and turn the key that it will start. You put faith in the electrician and the power company when you flip a light switch. You put faith in your spouse when you placed that ring on their finger that they will be with you & love you until death. Somehow, we’ve embraced a culture of distrust, cynicism, and doubt. There are answers out there. Faith to believe in them, to believe in God, to believe that we can have trust in our future and eternity… Faith isn’t easy and cynicism will tell you cannot have faith in anyone, any answer or anything. Fight against it.
- Be Confident. Like I shared earlier, some questions I still ask, others I’m clear on the answers I’ve found to be true. I don’t have to keep asking myself, “Am I sure God is real?” I believe it to be true. But, confidence should not lead people to arrogance. Sometimes people will act as though they are better because they’ve landed at an answer. You can carry a confidence in the answer you’ve found without being arrogant. Likewise, if you haven’t found an answer to a question, that doesn’t make those who have somehow silly, less intelligent, and you more enlightened because you see what you believe to be flaws or not enough evidence to accept that answer. Another aspect of confidence is respecting people. Not trying to bully them into doing what you do. In my faith, I’m confident of the truths I’ve experienced through God’s word. I share them as truth, but I don’t try to force people to believe them. That’s not my role. Don’t let your confidence be a platform to force others.
- Love. If you don’t know how to love through questioning, searching, and trying to find answers… you won’t get very far. People who lack compassion, social graces, and tact will find it very difficult to have a dialogue with others. Approaching people with love overcomes a mountain of cynicism and debate. I watch it on social media, news, etc all the time. When people come out swinging, it doesn’t end well. Stirring the pot, playing devil’s advocate, and/or being offensive rarely comes from a heart of love. More often than not it comes from a place of feeling superior and looking down on the other person. And, it doesn’t usually end well. When approaching people, if love is the starting point, finding a place of understanding when asking questions becomes a bit clearer. Wading through a lack of love in the search for answers makes it difficult and convoluted. Lead with love. Always.
Will you find answers for everything that happens in this world? No.
Is there a hope in this life? Yes. I believe there is.
And… it’s amazing.