Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Leading Question

In a courtroom a question is often objected to for leading a witness. In the spiritual realm the questions we ask often determine the answers we get.

Not all questions are equally helpful. You see sometimes we cannot find the answers to our issues because our questions are too narrow. We have presupposed with our questions the answer will be of a certain type.

It is like Christians who pray who fail to understand that God may answer their prayer with an absolute "no." It is not that the prayer is insincere or lacking in faith but that God with his greater wisdom sees something else.

In the same way when we have a spiritual issue or an issue in life and seek guidance we are often plagued by asking questions which are too narrow. We assume the answer will be of a certain type. Sometimes our issues would be solved much quicker if we dealt with the problem more broadly.

Some of the issue is cultural. In a highly specialized world we often think questions should be of a highly specific nature. Often with spiritual issues or life issues the answers tend to be big picture and directional. Very few spiritual issues or life are based mainly upon a tiny issue.

Most issues are multifaceted and the answers complex. We need to realize that the answers to many questions are not simple to grasp. If the answer was simple we would not have had to fight the problem for so long.

When we are asked for advice we should be ready to listen with great care. If a person has struggled with a spiritual or life issue for some time it is unlikely that quoting advice that might be found easily in hundreds of books or thousand of websites will help. It is possible that is the issue, but often issues are of a complex nature.

It is fine not to have an answer to a question. I believe it is always better to admit we do not have the answer to a spiritual or life question than to make something up. Maybe we might if pressed offer our best guess or suggest someone who might know.

A person who asks a question will know when they are given a response of no value. To me it is a sign of humility, respect and wisdom to admit we do not know an answer rather than make up something that the listener will realize is of no use.
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