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The Value of a Question – What is your question?

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.  The blind man said, “I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:46-52)

The question is a powerful tool. It requires an answer. It promotes reflection. It engages the hearer asking for accountability. It shows respect and interest in the hearer. It offers a place for the hearer to give their thoughts and opinions. It prompts subsequent questions and is an invitation for the hearer to ask a question. A question invites relationship.

Consider some of the questions Jesus asked. In each incident the question is a teaching tool offering an opportunity for the hearer to engage. The question shifts their thoughts and startles them back into reality and the essence of the moment. The question pulls them beneath the waterline to consider a new aspect of reasoning and challenges their assumptions. A question brings conviction, offers encouragement and an invitation to learn. 

     “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around and asked, ‘who touched my clothes?’ ” (Mark 5:25-34)


    “Awakened by His disciples during the storm on the lake, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? ‘ ”(Mark 4:40)

    “Why are you talking about no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts     hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see? Do you have ears but fail to hear? And don’t you  remember?”  (Mark 8:17)

    “ ‘How many loaves do you have?’ to the little boy who shared his lunch.” (Matthew 15:34)

    “Who do people say the son of man is?”… “What about you?” He asked, “Who do you say I     am?" (Matthew 16:13-15)

     “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”(Matthew     16:26)

    “ ‘Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter.” (Matthew 26:40)

Even as we read these questions now, thousands of years later, what would you do if you were present with Jesus and he asked you these same questions?
 
If you could ask Him anything right now what would it be? What is your question?

Knowing what question to ask requires time and some space to reflect on, to think about, to get beneath the superfluous noise of distraction and underneath the busyness, chaos and scattered-ness.

What repeatedly stirs in your mind that you mull over and over and long for an answer to? Oh, I can’t ask that! You may think your question should not be asked or it is too simple, too complicated, too silly or stupid. If you have a question it is worth asking especially when you consider you are asking the Creator of the Universe who is in constant communion and fellowship with the other members of the Trinity.

Don’t ever stop asking questions of God, of yourself, of others. But, remember the 20/80 rule – 20% asking questions, 80% listening. Be still and listen when you ask God your question and consider sharing the impact of that exchange with someone you trust and are accountable to.

 For further consideration:
 Curious, The Unexpected Power of a Question-Led Life, Tom Hughes, Nav Press 2015 .

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Gail Seidel

Gail Seidel served as Mentor Advisor for Spiritual Formation in the Department of Spiritual Formation and Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and currently is an Adjunct Professor in the D Min in Spiritual Formation in the D Min Department at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has a BA in English from the University of Texas, a Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Seminary and a D Min in Spiritual Formation from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is a contributor to the textbook, Foundations of Spiritual Formation, Kregel Academic. She served as co-director for Christian Women in Partnership Russia with Entrust, an international church leadership-training mission. She and her husband Andy live in Fredericksburg, Texas. They have 2 married children and 6 delightful and energizing grandchildren--Kami, Kourtney, Katie, Mallory, Grayson, and Avery.