I recently watched an interview with famed “Why” guy Simon Sinek who stated very simply, “I’m an idiot.” He shared about a meeting he sat through where he was clueless about what was being said. He said that he just kept asking questions, admitting he didn’t know or understand the presentation.
I can relate. As a freelance writer, part of my job is to interview people, listen to them as they tell their story or share what they do, and ultimately – translate that in an articulate way for whomever my reading audience may be. In order to do my job, I show up at every interview as an idiot who doesn’t know. I ask a lot of questions.
Asking questions isn’t a bad thing. But, I think we go through comfort levels with our questioning…a three-year-old has no qualms about asking “Why?” every 2.5 seconds. But, a 13-year-old may hesitate, fearful of looking stupid in front of the class. And, in college, questions may be more boldly asked and explored to make the most of higher education. Then we get to be adults. A young adult may be selective about whom they ask things…Mom, Dad and friends are safe, but asking questions as a newbie in Corporate America may feel intimidating.
We’ve got to be okay admitting we have questions. Especially about the Bible.
I’ve heard it so often in Bible study groups – people are afraid to speak up for fear of looking like idiots. But, what if Billy Graham had thought that way? Or Greg Laurie? Or Max Lucado? Or Charles Stanley? We all start at the same place – a blank slate. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions about Scripture. There should be no fear of feeling stupid because this is about eternal matters! Besides all that – we never stop learning! I’m convinced that even on his deathbed, Billy Graham was still learning about God. We’re never going to reach a place where there’s nothing left to learn about God and the Bible.
And, if I can take a little trip down a rabbit hole…it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between asking God questions and questioning God. God doesn’t mind our questions as long as we don’t question His authority or His promises.
God welcomes our questions when they come from a place of sincerity. He has promised to be found when we earnestly seek Him (Jeremiah 29:13). And, in James 1:5, it says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
So, don’t worry about feeling like an idiot. If I can take us back to Simon Sinek’s story…as it turned out – no one else understood either. Simon was just the only one who was okay admitting he had questions. By being bold enough to ask questions, you may be helping out someone else, too.
I have a variety of favorite resources for helping to understand Scripture better, but two of my favorites are 1) “The Believer’s Bible Commentary” by William MacDonald and 2) GotQuestions.org – they have a great website and a YouTube channel.