Questions and Answers

"Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions." -Earl Gray Stevens

Many of us feel anxious and lacking in confidence when giving a presentation or teaching a class because someone might ask a question that we don't know how to answer. We are trained from childhood to know, to have the right answer to any question.

What if, instead of being graded on knowing the right answers, students were graded on asking the right questions? 

What if, instead of feeling the need to have all the answers, you felt free to say, "I don't know?"

What if, instead of answering a question, you asked another one in response?

Anyone who has every interacted with a 3-year-old knows their incessant questioning of "why?" Most of us as adults will automatically answer their "why" with a "because." What would happen if instead of a "because" you answered with "I don't know. What do you think?"

What would happen to your confidence, and theirs, if instead of having all the answers you were open to all the questions?

Jesus often answered a question with a question. And sometimes he refused to answer at all. I think it's because he wanted people to wrestle with the questions and discover the answers for themselves. What do you think?

One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?” He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’  But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”

So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”  (Luke 20:1-8)