Last week toward the end of the week one of the men in the workshop where they did not speak Texan, asked me a question. It was a really good one. I was something that while it is not central to the gospel was something that he has probably struggled with all of his life. I did not answer him. Instead I told him that it was a great question. Then I asked him how he would go about answering it using the tools that we had worked through together. He looked a bit taken aback, people are used to being told what they want to hear. We worked through and outline of how to approach answering the question.
If I had told him the answer, I would have satisfied his curiosity and simultaneously robbed him of learning how to find out the answer to difficult questions himself. It is while we are wrestling with hard issues, where we are unsure of our footing, that we are stretching ourselves, we are learning. It is in that space that we are most in tune with the Holy Spirit’s ministry of leading us into all truth.
It does not matter what I know. It does not matter that I could have answered his question. What matters is that he has the tools to deal with difficult issues on his own. Why? Because right now I am in Tulsa, where even though they don’t speak Texan, they understand it. He is in a place 36 hours away where Texan is a foreign language. He cannot pick up the phone and get his questions answered, at least not from me. But, he now has the tools and understands the method to try himself. As he does, he will get better at it. He will begin to have more confidence in what he sees. More confidence and familiarity with the Word.
Much better than answering his question.