4 Questions Christians are Afraid to Ask Other Christians

woman standing away from friends looking worried and thinking

My husband loves to ask other Christians, “What are you reading in the Bible?” It seems like a reasonable question, but time and time again I have seen other Christians react to this with discomfort. I’m not sure if they feel judged, or caught if they aren’t reading anything, or just generally surprised that someone would ask them; but shouldn’t we be able to ask each other what God is teaching us? What he is showing us? How he is speaking to us through his living Word? 

It leads me to this important question: Why are we so scared to ask other Christians important questions?

Reasons vary: Some people are very private, some don’t feel confident enough to give an answer, and some just don’t want their disobedience found out. If we want to live as brothers and sisters in Christ we need to learn how to ask the hard questions, and when we ask, it needs to be from a heart of love—not criticism, comparison, or corruption.

Granted, for many, relationships like a mentor, counselor, pastor, or close friend would be the most appropriate for these hard questions. But even in those circumstances, the choice is before us to either silence ourselves out of fear or push past our hesitancy and seek to deepen, not only our own, but others’ relationships with Christ by asking the following questions:

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  • Church service, Minnesota churches are call the 10-person limit on services unfair

    1. Do you feel connected at Church?

    This question assumes that this Christian is attending church, but the heart of it is to make sure that the person has a sense of community. It is really easy to walk into church, listen to worship and the sermon and not have one meaningful conversation. When we read of the love and kinship present in the early church it sometimes seems unattainable.

    But it is possible, and the epidemic of loneliness is harming too many souls. We are made for one another. Eve was given to Adam because the animals didn’t quite cut it in terms of companionship.

    Today we also need to realize that seeing and talking with people in the flesh, not just through social media or texting, is still important. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

    There is no specific number assigned to this, but it is clear this faith walk is not to be done alone, though many try. Community takes work. At times people need a nudge and a bit of help to get plugged in. When they know somebody is willing to check in on them, it can give them the extra energy they need to put in the effort.

    Remember, Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

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  • woman laying down covering face with hands

    2. Do you have any unconfessed sin?

    Can you imagine asking this to your friends at church? If it happens all the time, I might be concerned. Let’s be honest, some people are just nosey. But if our close Christian friends don’t feel the freedom to ask or answer this, we only set ourselves up for trouble.

    Yes, there is a wise way to go about this question, but many times people with unconfessed sin would prefer to leave it that way. So if we as Christians feel like the Holy Spirit is prompting us to ask this question, we must pray, and we cannot cower.

    The well-being of our friend may hinge on it. The freedom Christ desires for them is waiting. James 5:16 instructs us to, “...confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

    Remember, My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

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  • <strong>3. How are you giving to help the Kingdom of God?</strong>

    3. How are you giving to help the Kingdom of God?

    Not every Christian needs to be asked this question. Some are obviously, visibly giving of their time, talent, and treasure. Yet we should not fear ever asking this question because it is a significant indicator of someone’s spiritual health.

    Those who belong to Christ will want to give generously if they are walking closely with the Lord, because they understand that they are stewards of their days, money, and talents. Keep in mind the parable Jesus told his disciples in Luke 12:45-48:

    But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

    This question is important because it roots out whose kingdom we are truly living for. Are we seeking to be a part of God’s magnificent kingdom, or are we striving to build a miniature one for our selves?

    Remember, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

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  • young woman looking wistfully into the distance

    4. What truth do you struggle to believe about God?

    This one gets tricky because it hits us in places of doubt we often try to hide. It is a necessary question, because what we believe about God influences everything we do.

    If we see him as the holy and perfect one that he is, then we trust him in the worst of times, and obedience flows from reverence and awe.If we see him as absent and far off, we will not give much consideration to how he views our thoughts and actions.

    When we bring our struggles into the light and entrust them to other believers, our roots are driven deeper and eventually we bear greater fruit. Only when we see God rightly can we see ourselves rightly and move from struggle to flourishing. Your questions don't scare or put God in opposition to you, provided they come from a humble heart.

    Remember, See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)

    Chara Donahue is a co-author of the Bible study 1, 2 & 3 John: Experiencing Transformation and is working on her next book. She enjoys serving as a biblical counselor, speaking to women, and savoring coffee when her four kids are out playing with dad. She holds an MSEd from Corban University, is passionate about seeing people set free through God's truths, and is the founder and editor of Anchored Voices. Get in touch with her on Facebook or Twitter.

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images

    Chara Donahue is a co-author of the Bible study 1, 2 & 3 John: Experiencing Transformation and is working on her next book. She enjoys serving as a biblical counselor, speaking to women, and savoring coffee when her four kids are out playing with dad. She holds an MSEd from Corban University, is passionate about seeing people set free through God's truths, and is the founder and editor of Anchored Voices. She is also the host of the podcast The Bible Never Said That, which you can listen to on LifeAudio.com. Get in touch with her on Facebook or Twitter.