Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tough Questions To Ask Your Friends

What would lead any sane person to take part in such an activity? The truth is that godly friends ask tough questions. Hebrews 3:13 says, "But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Godly friends exhort one another to pursue godliness. They ask tough, awkward, probing questions that dig deep into the heart and expose sinful desires. Truly godly friends aren’t afraid to get down and dirty.

Why do godly friends exhort each other and ask tough questions about your struggles with sin? Because they care and they don’t want you to be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Sin is deceitful, and many times we fail to see our sin accurately. For example, I recently confessed to that I had been struggling with worry (our house down in Texas still has not sold). My friend was able to show me that I was failing to trust God, and I was being self-sufficient. This exhortation helped me to see my sin as it truly was. Godly friends help each other see their sin accurately by asking tough questions. Are you a godly friend? Do you ask your friends about their struggles with sin? Do you exhort them towards godliness? On the flip side, do you invite your friends to ask you the awkward questions? Be a godly friend and ask the tough questions. The questions aren’t one-sided. You should be inviting your friends to ask these same questions of you. Here are some examples:

Have you been consistently pursuing the Lord through scripture reading and prayer?
I want to see my friends are faithfully pursuing the Lord. If there is a deficiency in reading scripture and prayer, there will be a deficiency in their relationship with the Lord.

Have you diligently pursued your wife/husband this week?
This questions applies to married folks only. Our relationship with our spouse is our second most important relationship after the Lord. If I’m not diligently investing in my relationship with my spouse, there’s a problem.

Have you seen any persistent patterns of sin in your life recently?
Sin usually isn’t an isolated event. The same sin usually occurs multiple times in different contexts. It’s crucial that we help each other identify patterns of sin.

Last week you confessed struggling with [insert sin]. Have you taken steps to fight it this week?
It’s not enough to just confess sin. We want to help each other actively fight against the sin that we confess.

When you gave into [insert sin], what were you believing about God in that moment? What were you believing about yourself?
Sin is the result of believing lies about God and about ourselves. We sin in worry because we believe that God isn’t taking care of us. We sin in lust because we believe that it will satisfy us more than God. We sin in anger because we feel that our “rights” have been violated. Sin is the result of believing lies.

What is the truth that you need to believe in this situation?
We fight against the lies of sin by believing scriptural truth. We must help each other see how scripture applies to every area of our lives.

When you had the conflict with [insert person], what were you craving at that moment?
Scripture tells that conflict is the result of cravings. James 4:1-2 says, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” Cravings underlie conflict.

Hopefully these questions get you going in the right direction. Let there be awkward questions!

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