Dealing with Hard Questions

It is only the third chapter of the Bible and yet the hard questions have started to crop up. How could Eve—who was created righteous, holy, and good—fall for Satan’s line? How did Satan become evil? Where did evil come from? Why did God allow this whole thing to happen?

Teens, with their newly developed analytical thinking processes, often ask questions like these. They begin to evaluate our fallen world, consider how things might be different, and ask why they aren’t. While questions arise easily, adequate answers are often elusive. How can you help?

  1. Allow questions to be expressed. Suppressing difficult questions may communicate to your students that there are no answers or that our faith cannot stand up to scrutiny. The questions are there; denying them will not make them go away.
  1. Take the time necessary to begin answering your students’ questions. Your students are more important than finishing the prescribed session plan. Answer as well as you can from the Scriptures. Do your homework. The Bible is silent on some matters, but more often our ignorance is the problem.
  1. Go the extra mile. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know, but I will be glad to look into it and get back to you.” Your students are worth the extra Bible study, a trip to the church library, or a discussion with your pastor. When you report to them next week, you will communicate care and concern as well as information.
  1. Remind your students that we are dealing with God in his wisdom and the complexity of his purposes. Isaiah says that his ways and thoughts are not like ours (Is. 55:8ff). We will never completely understand the ways of God; some things will always be a mystery because God has not explained them to us.
  1. Prayerfully seek to demonstrate humility. God doesn’t expect us to know all the answers but he does call us to humble trust and obedience.

What advice do you have for other youth leaders?

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