So, are you addicted to answers? To not be, is the exception because we live in a culture that depends on this addiction. In the fields of science, business, finance, education, and the like, answers are essential for success. Answers to problems and challenges serve as road maps to accomplishment and wealth. Therefore, answers are cherished resources and to be without them jeopardizes ones success.
In our walk of faith, are we much different? We tend to feel vulnerable and threatened when we don’t get the answers we think we need. This is called a “pattern” of human thinking… it’s normal and expected. Yet, as Christians we are exhorted to not allow culturally accepted patterns of thinking to control our lives but to conform our thinking to God’s Word (Romans 12:2). In doing so, we’ll gain something far more valuable than answers—we’ll get his direction and blessing (Proverbs 3:5-6).
What’s my point? Humanity’s obsession for answers comes from the compulsion to control the world around us for our benefit. This drive, in part, comes from God’s mandate in Genesis to Adam, Eve, and all future offspring to rule over the world in a way that allows for human thriving, growth, and well-being (Genesis 1:28). We need answers to solve problems preventing such thriving and blessing.
Yet, when it comes to growing in our relationship with God, child-like trust has always been the currency. While living by faith doesn’t mean we throw our brains away, it does require a radical choice—relinquishing to God our tendency to control life. Thus, we stop trying to live like we are in control. Yes, this kind of thinking definitely runs against the grain of human confidence in answers.
Am I opposed to trusting God for answers? No, I do it all the time. And yes, we must do our diligence to study the world around us, Scripture, sound doctrine, and learn from the history of those who’ve gone before. However, the minute I allow “sufficient knowledge” of a problem to determine whether or how I trust God, I have missed the meaning and purpose of faith all together. If we give God our insecurities of trusting him, we will discover that faith really is the evidence of things hoped for and substance of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
Christian faith is not so much about making sense of our world as an invitation to trust God in the midst of uncertainty. In doing so, we discover the mysterious power and peace of God wildly at work in a world filled with difficult questions and painful realities that don’t make sense. We believe, despite what we know or don’t know. Next week, I will share my own story of personal grief and loss and how God taught me to trust him despite my long ingrained obsession for answers.
What Do You Think?
Can you identify any “patterns of thought” commonly accepted by society but contrary to biblical faith? Do you struggle to let go of such thinking?