Whether from Christians or not, adults, kids, those new to the faith and those digging deeper, here are five tips when asked a question:
- Encourage and thank people for doing so.
- Acknowledge when you don’t know the answer and then come back to them.
- Try and show them from the Bible: a verse or a story. The authority we use speaks volumes.
- Be mindful of their age and knowledge. Work out if this is a question asked from intellectual curiosity or painful experience. Answer accordingly.
- Ask if the answer you gave helped them. Don’t give them such a long answer that they will never want to ask you again.
And here are two more that I would like to flesh out:
6. Everything we need to know is in the Bible, but some things we will never know.
“The hidden things belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)
Some truths are beyond our pay-grade as finite human beings. Others are not yet known. Still other things, we find out through science, experience and human development. But the most important things are revealed and those things are mainly applied to us. As Galileo said: “The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.”
7. As much as possible, tie your answers back to a part of the gospel and to application.
You might use the simple structure of Two Ways To Live, Introducing God, Apostle’s Creed, or even John 3:16. Ask yourself, is this a question about creation, sin, judgment, Christ’s death, resurrection, our response, Christian living or heaven and hell. Answer the question and tie it back into the gospel. For instance, if someone asks about God’s judgment, answer directly, but also talk about Christ’s death on the cross.
Remember that the Holy Spirit is with us. He will open doors and will use your open mouth.
“Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.” (Colossians 4:5-6)