Monthly Archives: October 2013

So Many Questions!

Questions, questions, questions. 

Questions precede and invoke both answers and engagement.  If you want someone engaged in a process questions are one of the best ways to pull out of them conclusions and insights they may already have, but are not fully aware of until the question/s was posed.  I’m sure you have found this to be so on occasions?

Questions are an excellent means of not cornering a person with confrontational demands, but at the same time getting them to see, buy into or admit something.

Matthew 16:7-11 and 13-15.  In the first of these verses Jesus asked his disciples five questions that lead to a conclusion. The questions were in fact rebukes but still expressed as questions.  In this case the questions made them face, and think through, their assumptions.  These questions forced an issue without it being overtly aggressive, and V12 sees them realizing what he has just said, “Then they understood …”

In the second of these verses Jesus wanted to know what they thought –  in the previous it was what he thought.  He was using questions to do this.  He let them come to a conclusion – to see what and who he really was.  This was achieved by questions.  Firstly he asked who others thought he was, and they listed the usual suspects, and then he asked them who they thought he was.  He narrowed the field from general to specific as good questions can and should do.  They didn’t just answer a question, they stated a revolutionary idea – that he was, “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Questions create buy in and engagement, in a way that simply being told doesn’t.

Questions are an art, as Jesus shows.  They both challenge and confirm.

Questions help us see what we may know but didn’t quite see.

And they encourage us ask questions as well, which is never a bad thing.

Do you agree?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More is More; less is less.

Matthew 13:12“For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

This is one of those pithy observations of Jesus, that he typically prefaced with, “For.”  These statements can and do refer to anyone, anywhere, at anytime.  They aren’t strictly speaking scriptures as in being taken/quoted from the Old Testament, but they are now considered scripture because of who articulated them – Jesus.

And these axioms are often surprising by implication, as is this one.

The concept of moral/ethical neutrality doesn’t exist in Jesus’ frame of reference.  If you have you get more, and if you don’t have, even the little you do have will be taken, and often given to another.  No neutrality here.  The one who produces  will create capacity and opportunity that inevitable leads to ‘abundance.’  The one who doesn’t produce, or initiate, is equally likely to end up with even less.  You can’t sit and expect – life doesn’t work like that, despite the protestations of those who would like it to.

A sentiment exists in this world that those who do ‘have’ should have it taken off them, and those who don’t have, should have it given to them.  This sounds like enforced Marxism, which isn’t recommended by Jesus.  Helping others yes; impoverishing or depleting some to do it, no!

Jesus is working from the concept of reward for what you do, and the opposite if you don’t.  Laziness isn’t propped up by him, and neither is greed of course.  But there is no sense in this statement of Jesus that ‘having’ is inherently wrong – quite the opposite.  Not ‘having’ is the problem.

More creates more and less, less.   (More or less)


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