I DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER THE QUESTION
By Christine Wyrtzen
They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose. They talk of laying snares secretly, saying, “Who can see them?” Psalm 64:5
Questions are wonderful catalysts. They express sincere interest in a person. They bring clarification to a matter. They encourage someone quiet to express what is hidden. But questions can also be dangerous depending on the intentions of the one asking them.
Questions were asked of Jesus for many reasons. Some people were curious, just wanting to be enlightened. Some were seeking, drawn toward the Light because they knew the darkness of their own souls. Some people were dangerous, desiring to discredit Jesus by trapping Him. But the One who was Truth was never trapped. Within the genius ofdeity, and as One who knew the hearts of men, He answered outside the box. Remember the time He reached down to write something in the sand rather than answer the questions the way the crowd posed them?
There are two kinds of people ~ those who are good at thinking on their feet and those who need time to process things before they’re able to respond. As an introvert who definitely falls in the latter category, I can tell you that questions posed during a heated exchange are very difficult for me. The more volatile the exchange, the more quiet I become. Questions asked for the purpose of entrapment are even more challenging. My soul senses how high the stakes are and words are even harder for me to find. So, here are some things God has taught me.
1. Not every question needs to be answered, even though posed directly to me.
2. Some questions are driven by unholy personal agendas. If I answer for the sake of answering, I will add fuel to their fire.
3. I must let my intuition guide me. Am I relaxed or am I uptight? Am I eager to engage or looking for the nearest exit?
4. I keep in mind that the same question can be asked by two different people. I feel safe answering the first person and unsafe answering the second. The question is not usually the problem but the motives of the one who asks it.
5. I can listen to my gut, which is where the Spirit often moves and speaks. I can be like Jesus and never answer on the fly.
Jesus was willing for others to bear uncomfortable silences if necessary. He was not manipulated by the schemes of men, nor should I be. Though tongues can often set a trap, I dwell in a spacious place with a God who rescues me, moment by moment, with the wisdom I need to live securely.
Lord. I want to think like You and discern the moment like You. Give me the courage to speak the truth, or sit on the truth until it’s the appropriate time to speak it. Remind me to embrace silence as a way of escape. Clothe me with the surpassing power You promised each of Your children. In Jesus name, Amen