I had breakfast with a friend recently, and throughout our conversation, we questioned many things. We looked at some things we’ve been taught that don’t line up with the Word of God. We examined how toxic thinking has shaped our views of ourselves, others, and even God. We processed a lot over that one meal.
As we talked, the phrase that kept coming up, again and again, was, “It’s okay to ask questions.”
We had to keep reminding ourselves of the fact that we are allowed to question things. We can ask for clarification when we need to. We have the permission to wonder about and think deeply on complex spiritual matters.
I realize that this questioning thought process runs contrary to the culture in some churches. I didn’t always think that way. For years, I needed to be right all the time—I didn’t want to be questioned or ask too many questions. My intellectual pride prevented me from seeing some things clearly. And I was so certain that I had God all figured out.
Now, I look back and chuckle to myself because none of us has God all figured out. Part of the beauty of His vastness is that He’s endlessly complex. He’s a great and glorious mystery. Sure, we know some facets of His character, but that’s not all He is. As we spend more time with Him, we uncover more of who He is, and, for me, that leads to more questions.
And that’s okay.
We’re allowed to ask questions. God can handle them. If you’re having trouble believing that, that’s okay too. I encourage you to read through some of the stories where people asked God questions. Abraham asked God questions about the future (Genesis 15), Moses had lots of questions before he went to Pharaoh (Exodus 3-4), and Jeremiah questioned God (Jeremiah 15). Jacob even physically wrestled with God (Genesis 32)!We're allowed to ask questions. God can handle them. Click To Tweet
Easily one of my favorite stories in the Bible of a God-follower with questions is John the Baptist. He was a great prophet who unashamedly spoke the Word of God to those who would listen. He didn’t sugar-coat anything, which ended up getting him in some trouble with the ruling authorities. By the time we catch up to him in Luke 7, he has been unjustly imprisoned and is essentially waiting to be beheaded.
John was going through an incredibly rough time. So what did he do? He asked a question.
“When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?'”
At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers:
“Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me”(Luke 7:20-23 (NIV)
This is incredible! John asked Jesus an important question, and he wasn’t shut down. Jesus didn’t mock or berate him. There was no eye-rolling at this question. Jesus loved John enough to remind him of the truth of the Kingdom of God.
But it gets even better.
After John’s messengers left, in the hearing of everyone who heard them voice John’s question, here’s what Jesus said:
“I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”Luke 7:28 (NIV)
John asked Jesus questions—difficult questions in a challenging moment—but that didn’t change John’s status. Jesus didn’t look down upon John, and He encouraged those around Him to do the same.
I, personally, believe that questioning can be healthy. I believe that God honors our questions, just as Jesus honored John’s. The beauty of following God is that we don’t have to have it all figured out. Instead, we’re on this beautiful journey with Him as we become more and more like Christ.The beauty of following God is that we don't have to have it all figured out. Click To Tweet
So if you’re in a season where you’re questioning things, that’s okay. Bring those questions to God and see what He’s saying. I pray that you are able to find comfort in the fact that you’re not alone in asking questions—men and women of faith going back centuries have asked God tough questions and grown closer to Him as a result. Keep coming to Him. Keep asking. And keep your heart open to hear what He wants to say to you.
Questions don’t disqualify faith. In fact, I believe that questions can be one of the sweetest ways to deepen our faith and grow in our relationship with God.