Every night, I have a tradition with my kids. It started when they were little as I tucked them into bed. I ask them one question: “Who loves you?” They reply, “Daddy!” And then I say, “Don’t forget it.” Throughout the day, they receive a lot of messages about themselves. The question I ask challenges them to remember that they are loved. I always want that to be one of their final thoughts of the day.The right questions point our thinking in the right direction.
The right questions point our thinking in the right direction. If we’re going to think in a way that’ll help us grow and thrive, we need to ask ourselves challenging questions regularly. Here are 5 challenging questions we should think about every week.
1. What can I offer today?
Once, Jesus was speaking to a crowd of over 4,000 people. He told his closest followers he wanted to feed them, which they thought was impossible. Then he asked them in Matthew 15:34, “How many loaves (of bread) do you have?” Jesus just wanted them to bring what they had to feed the people. From there, he took what they brought, multiplied it, and fed everyone. God has given us talents and resources. There are people around us, namely our families, who need what we have to give. What can you offer today? Give it freely and faithfully and watch what God does with it.
2. What does worrying accomplish?
When I think about all the difficulties I’ve experienced, I’m amazed at what they’ve taught me and how I’ve grown. In the middle of them, I was filled with worry. When I look back on all that worrying, I ask what it accomplished. The answer is nothing. Jesus said in Matthew 6:27, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” When problems and concerns arise (and they will) pray, plan, and act, but don’t worry.
3. Why judge others when I have so much room for growth?
It’s easy for me to judge and hate when I think too highly of myself. The reality is I’m a mixture of fallacies, weaknesses, contradictions, vulgarity, and moral and ethical failings that at best need work. Jesus asked this question: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3) Asking this question regularly tempers my judgment, affirms a spirit of humility, and empowers my love for others.
4. Am I growing or diminishing my integrity?
Integrity is something we have to be intentional about protecting. There will always be the temptation to be greedy, cheat, cover our wrongs, or be dishonest in order to gain something. Remembering this question from Jesus is a great reminder to protect our integrity: “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
5. What do you want me to do for you?
Around 2000 years ago, a blind beggar sat on a road. When Jesus walked by with a crowd he cried out to him, “Have mercy on me!” Jesus called him over and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said he wanted to see and Jesus healed him. The blind man could have lived his life like Jesus wasn’t there, but nothing would have changed. The reality is Jesus wants to be involved in our lives and when he is, our lives become fuller. Unfortunately, there are plenty of days I live like he’s not there.
If Jesus were passing in front of you right now, would you let him walk by? If he asked you, “What do you want me to do for you?” what would you say? What would you ask him to do?
Sound off: What are some other questions to ask yourself each week?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you worry about?”