“We’ve all heard the expression,” Stan began, “that there are no dumb questions. That may be well-intended, but I think it is clearly wrong.”
“I agree,” I responded. “I can say as a fact that I have heard a lot of dumb questions in my life! And I probably have asked more than my share.”
“You know what is worse than a dumb question?” Stan asked.
“A dumb answer,” he said before I had a chance to respond.
“The apostle Paul,” he continued, “it seems to me, addressed that matter in his letter to the church in Colossae. He didn’t specifically write about dumb questions and answers, but he clearly wrote that all of my answers to questions are to be made with grace.”
Continuing, he said, “If my response to a person’s question about anything makes that person feel like he or she just asked a dumb question and, in turn, my response shuts that person down, I have not responded with grace.”
“I think,” Stan said, “this is especially true in the instance of people who are seeking answers to questions as they pursue spiritual maturity. If I, as a less-immature believer, make a person feel he or she has just asked a dumb question about proceeding down the path towards spiritual maturity, I am way off base.”
“If I do not answer every question with grace, treating the question as being asked sincerely because the person has a question, I am on the wrong path. I will have placed myself as a stumbling block in that person’s way. Bad choice!”
Concluding, Stan said, “I have to be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading so that I respond to every question another person may have with the grace that will open the way to more questions and, hopefully, gracious answers that help, not hinder, the person’s spiritual growth.”
“Be open,” I responded, “to seeing that if the person already knew the answer, the question would not have been asked.”
“You are absolutely right about that, my friend! Graceful answers to sincere questions.”
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you allow me to come before you with all of the questions I may have. And thank you that you never make me feel that I have asked a dumb question, but that you always respond to my questions with grace. I confess that too often I have had less-than-gracious responses to the sincere questions that other people have had. Please forgive me. And please lead me in always having a gracious response to each person you bring before me. Lead me and help me to follow so I am used by you to be a help not a hindrance to that person as he or she pursues spiritual maturity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.