March 3, 2017

Thank you for Asking!

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.  All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. ~ Prov 16:1,2

As I have been studying and reviewing information for various things, I couldn't help but notice a common theme among them all:  The value of questions.  When I was younger, I may not have been the most curious child in a group, but I was certainly in the top 3.  Question after question would layer my mind; hence I was probably the most talkative child around.  In time, however, my questions brought with them a sense of self consciousness. More often than not, I began to view questions as more of a liability.  After all people believe we are smarter when we don't know something and remain silent, or so we are told. This disastrous mindset is pretty much on the same plain as, "children should be seen and not heard". .....But I digress....

Paul David Tripp is the author of a book I have been re-reading.  He suggests we are all: influence-ers, interpreters and worshipers. As with all our studies on view points and words, the combination of these three words brought back many thoughts:

  • How do individuals who care enough to marry each other and build a family together end up wanting, more than anything, to not have to be around each other? 
  • How can jobs, hobbies and friendly relationships become something elevated over spouses and children?
  • How can we think we know what is best for others when we cannot go many days, our self, without making a poor decision? 
  • Why do we feel the generic things we have to say are more grand than something the next person might desire to speak about?
Considering all these dynamics, it seems that self concern/preservation, and pride may be what we desire to call it; however, due to how common place those critiques of character are today, let's break it down further. Since our topic is "questions" lets look at it from this angle.

The people I speak with on a regular basis, are coming to see me due to crisis in their life.  This crisis takes many forms.  The commonality begins after a series of conversations where in I get to ask questions regarding something/s that have changed in their life.  Surprisingly many people have not simply asked the person/s they are in a relationship with questions about the things.  People, for what ever reason, take facts and add onto them their version of reasoning.  If it goes on long enough they build story lines supporting their theories. Sometimes they even add characters. It is heart breaking to hear the attempts, of their family and friends, to convince them that what they are thinking is not real.  But that is how deceptive thoughts poison our brains first and then bleed out, infecting the good things in our lives.

Part of the reason we do not ask questions, is due to lies we have been told.  After so much time of being lied to, people begin to believe that the words of others are not as valid as their own reasoning.  The saddest consequences stemming from this is the victim of these situations begins to distrust everyone and depend on their interpretations of life around them.  Life is very distorted from this view point.  And when you won't listen to anyone there is very little help for correcting what you perceive. It is like watching someone ride a bike, thinking they are on a garden path, when in actuality they are heading toward the edge of a steep cliff.  And as you warn them, they wave at first, but as you continue, they begin yelling back at you to be quiet, because you are ruining their enjoyment! reminds me of Proverb 12:15 : The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to wise counsel.

Counsel does not usually begin with answers and people, being short sighted, desire answers. God gives wisdom but rarely treats it like a google search. He takes us on a journey, so that we may grow and become wise, patient people who can love investing in the lives of others. Relationships with good integrity come from investments made. Anyone can have a relationships which feed their emotional and egotistical tanks. We simply fish around till we find someone responsive then cut bait and move to a more happening spot when it fizzles. Please understand the relationship that is giving you what you want is almost never the relationship that is good for you.

If we are not trusting God, how can we find the truth? If we cannot believe the truth of the one who created us, how will we ever find anything which makes lasting sense? Where you are encountering consistent patterns of problems with a person, start listening more and talking less.  When you begin talking ask relation-ally invested questions, rather than questions leading toward what you want from the relationship.  

When we can ask questions meant to find out how to care for someone, rather than figuring out if they care about us - then maybe people will not avoid communicating with us, but actually thank us for asking!

Have a curiously good day my friends!

© 2017 by Candace Huffmaster / Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®