Unanswered Questions

This is the time of year that children start asking ­questions. “How could one man travel the world in one night?” “Reindeer cannot fly, can they?” “Does magic really exist?”

Much of the non-religious world also asks questions about the seemingly impossible. “How could God be a baby?” “No man can walk on water, can they?” “Does God really exist?”

All of us often have questions. We are plagued with misinformation, lack of information, or sometimes even true information we cannot understand. What do you do when you have an unanswered question?

Investigate—When we don’t know, we should do the work of learning. We should not waver from our desire to understand that about which we are ignorant. We should only be satisfied after a thorough investigation.

Ask Those In the Know—This is often what children do. When they have questions, they ask their parents, teacher, or some other authority figure. This is a great option. If there is someone who you think has answers to your questions, ask them.

Make Conclusions on Facts—Too often, when someone has a question, they will just assume and not ­actually investigate facts. We should be careful to make our ­conclusion, to find our answers, to sate our curiosity with facts, and not conjecture.

While there are appropriate responses to find answers to our questions, there are also inappropriate actions:

Guessing—When all we do is guess, we do not satisfy our curiosity, nor can we put to rest our inquiry. This means that we will continue to talk about what we don’t know, and we will never understand.

Fabricating—Often when children have questions, we will fabricate answers for them instead of ­researching honest answers. While there is little harm in this ­situation, false answers can lead to many evils in the adult world. We must be careful to deal with truth and not be satisfied with lies.

Gossip—Unanswered questions are breeding grounds for gossip if we are not careful. People often speak where they do not know as if they are authorities and this is how misinformation is propagated. How often are articles passed around Facebook as if they are truth while they are complete error? We must be careful to be dealers of truth. We must be cautious that people are not hurt in our pursuit of answers. We must always treat one another in kind, tenderhearted ways.

Slander—Lastly, many will find themselves verbally hurting others based on misinformation. We must, as God’s children, be encouraging and put away ­hurtful speech. When we do not know answers we seek to know, talk to someone, not about someone.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4.31-32)