I was out walking with a young woman the other night and we were talking about faith. She had so many questions. “Is everything in the Bible true? Did God create the world in seven days? If he did how come it doesn’t match science? What do you mean God might be a woman? Did Jonah really get swallowed by a whale? How do I know what to believe?” They just kept coming. As fast as we talked about one another one came on its heels. They were great questions and we had great conversation. Listening to her made me remember when I had a lot of questions so many I thought I would never find all of the answers. It was just last week.
It’s true you know. I had hoped that by my age I would have more answers than questions. But that is not the case. I seem to have more questions every day. The good news is that I have grown comfortable with questions. I don’t have to have answers for everything. I have discovered that more growth comes in the questioning and the reasoning than in the quick answer. I shared with my young friend that I try to hold on to some basic truths I find in scripture:
God is loving.
God is just.
God wants to be in relationship with us.
I hold on to these when I read scripture that I find confusing and when I look at the world, when I interact with people; all people. It seems to help. Then, if I don’t know what to do or say, I ask a simple question; “What would Jesus do?” I know, it’s been used and it feels almost clich but it’s not. My friend’s mom put it another way; “What would love do? I like that phrasing. At the end of the day what I really need to figure out is how to live more like Jesus and less like me. All the questions I have about theology are important and I will keep on thinking, discussing and reasoning but none of that matters if I don’t live in love.
I hope my young friend can learn that all of her questions are good. I hope she keeps asking questions. I pray that she discovers the deep love of Christ that will sustain her in the midst of this questioning world.