My youth leader gave everyone an index card. “Write a question,” he said. “It could be a question about God, a random question, or even a silly one. These cards are anonymous.”
There were many questions I had that I was too shy to ask, so I was grateful to be able to ask them on paper. I took the index card and wrote my question: “Why is there an Old Testament?” and dropped it in the box. A few weeks later we had the Question Night I mentioned in my testimony and I got an answer.
Question Night became my favorite night at youth group. It wasn’t because we got ice cream afterwards (but that was always a plus), it was the learning. Not only were my questions answered, but other people asked questions that I had wondered about too.
Question Night changed the way that I looked at my life as a young Christian. I had always thought that eventually when I became older I would just figure it out somehow. But that’s not how real life works.
People don’t understand everything the first time they learn it and that is okay. Having questions about the faith you were raised in doesn’t mean you’re dumb or slow or a “bad Christian.”
The disciples, men who knew Jesus when He was walking on this Earth, had questions like us. Asking questions will help you to learn more about what you believe. There is nothing wrong with having questions, but unaddressed doubt is a bad thing.
Everyone has questions
Questions themselves are not a bad thing. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered saying “I tell you, not seven times, but 77 times.” Then he tells a parable about cancelled debt and forgiveness.
Jewish law had told Peter to forgive enemies seven times, but he wanted to gain more understanding about what he believed was true. Jesus gave him an answer, He didn’t say “That’s a dumb question!” He simply answered him.
The great thing about Peter asking Jesus this question is that we get to read Jesus’s answer because it was recorded in the Bible. We can learn from listening to others’ questions, just like the way I did at Question Night.
Questions help you learn
We are not born knowing everything. It’s like math, if you don’t understand something you need to ask the teacher for help. There’s no shame in not understanding a concept that is hard to grasp.
Questions are highly valuable; in fact, I believe that someone who asks questions learns more than someone who blindly accepts everything they are taught. What use is it to believe in something you don’t understand? Everyone needs to know what they believe, and why they believe it. Asking questions gives you this new understanding.
Unanswered questions lead to unaddressed doubt. When I was a little younger, before Question Night, I had a question: Does God care about the little things? Did the things I wore or the things I ate matter to Him?
This little question confused me for quite some time. It made me pull away from trusting God and get lost in the confusion of my own mind. This didn’t help me or anyone. When we pull away, it is harder for us to understand.
It’s important to realize that with hard questions the answer isn’t just going to pop in your head one day. It’s like school, you have to be taught, and then you can learn it. If you have additional questions you ask your teachers for help.
There are a few good places you can look for answers. The Bible is the most trustworthy source for answers, but if you have a question about the Bible itself, the book I linked to in that post is very helpful. There’s also a YouTube channel I like called The Bible Project which has book summaries and other videos.
People are resources too. I would highly recommend talking to a parent or someone older in faith about your questions. For harder questions you can go to a pastor or someone trained in theology.
There are countless books available by Christian authors on every subject imaginable. The internet could also help. I like the websites Desiring God and Tim Challies’ website. There’s also Search the Good Stuff, which is a search engine with reputable Christian sources.
Sometimes the answers are debated about (like a verse meaning) and no one has found an exact answer. Beware of false teachers when looking for answers. Compare sources, and always check with the Bible. Our faith is based on the Bible, so no answer we find should contradict it.