Questions…we all ask them. Curiosity…we all have it. Both are necessary to help others rewrite their story for clarity and God’s glory.
We ask questions to keep us from being biased and faulty in our pursuit of another. Our questions want to bring understanding for the person and for their story.
The best way to tackle this is by being curious, “I wonder what I don’t know about their story?” When assumptions (believing something to be true without proof or taking something upon yourself) are made, this certainty locks us out of their story. Curiosity lets us in to their story/life.
The Importance of Curiosity:
1. Curiosity is an invitation to become.
2. Curiosity wants to explore another’s glory for the glory of God.
3. Curiosity engages another and is rarely confrontational.
4. Curiosity conquers evil by doing good. It does not respond in “like” kind (evil) that leaves another with nothing.
5. Curiosity asks questions that change relationships.
6. Curiosity will keep you from being backed into a corner and provoking defensiveness. Defensiveness opens the door to evil. The best defense is curiosity.
a. Curiosity is an invitation for others to be more human or to be more cruel.
b. Curiosity calls people to choose and invites them to desire.
We want to become a “Columbo”. If there is ever a time to “dumb-up” this could be it! Your curiosity comes with an “I don’t get it mentality.” Ask questions that cause the other to think and clarify for you. “I am curious about the word/phrase_______you have mentioned (more than once), would you tell us more about that?”
Our questions want to bring them back to their story/a particular scene that involves the senses: touch, hear, taste, see or smell. Our questions engage another so that they are the “expert” in the answer. We want to facilitate others to be the authority of their story.
Our questions will require us to be “Wise as serpents and Gentle as doves.” It is and/both. Sounds a bit like Truth and Grace!
Below are some principles about asking questions from Making Small Groups Work. Page 162.
*If understanding is lost, connection is lost. If you are confused, someone else probably is as well. Use the group as a thermometer to see how clear something is.
*Seek the clear meaning of any ambiguity. Resist making assumptions.
*Ask questions about the emotions you see (anger, sadness, joy, contempt) and ask questions about emotional issues (relationships, divorce, addictions).
*Seek clarification when someone gives you conflicting data.
*Seek out the thinking behind what people say.
*Sometimes repeating the person’s word leads to more information.
*If you feel lost in the mire, say so.
*If there are gaps in the information, ask about them.
My hope is that your questions and curiosity cause others to ponder, not just about their story, but places in their heart where life comes alive to Him.