Always Be Ready to Answer Questions

I love questions.  I love to ask them and I love to answer them.  The reason for this is probably because I am both a learner and a teacher. So are you.  There are things you know that you can pass on to others and there are things that others know that they can pass on to you.  There should never be a time when you aren’t willing to ask or answer a question.

This is especially important for Christians. Christians are commanded to always be ready to answer questions.  “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect…” (I Peter 3:15). In some ways this is the theme verse of my life. 

First, we see in this verse that we are to be ready to answer everyone who asks why we have hope in Christ.  This reminds us that in order for people to ask about the difference Jesus makes in our lives, we first need to be living differently.  People need to see that we handle difficulty and trial differently because of Jesus in our lives.

Second, we need to always be prepared to answer.  How can we always be prepared? By studying.  Like a student who has to be prepared for pop quizzes, we never know when the question is going to come.  So we should be constantly studying our Bibles, attending Bible studies, reading good Christian books, listening to good Bible teaching and learning more about Jesus.

Third, we should treat questions and their questioners with respect.  So many times we treat people as interruptions.  When someone asks us something, we should start seeing it as a God ordained appointment.  Questions are a great learning opportunity.  When someone asks, they are usually ready to listen to the answer.  Answering questions is the best way to meet people where they are.

Peter says to do this with gentleness and respect.  Don’t belittle genuine questions or  treated questioners poorly.  We don’t need to beat people over the head with our answers.  We are not trying to win arguments or debates.  We are trying to win people.   

One of the great joys of my life is being able to help someone by answering their questions.  That doesn’t mean I have all the answers. But if I can help someone else by sharing the little bit of knowledge I do have, I praise God for it. “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).