Seeking endorsement?

by DanWolgemuth on September 17, 2010

It was early on Wednesday morning… a core group of students from Cherokee Trail High School were coming over for a planning meeting, a time in God’s Word, and a few pancakes.

I helped Mary in the kitchen as we made final preparations for the gathering. By self-appointment I had determined what music should be playing during the breakfast meeting. Just moments before our teenaged guests arrived I addressed a question to Mary, “Do you think that the music is too loud?”

Her response was concise and immediate. “I think it’s too loud for the kids and our YFC staff to have a time of dialog.”

My response to her response was equally as brief… “I think it’s fine.”

We both went back to our previous assignments, but within a few minutes I was left with the embarrassing realization that I had asked a question that I really didn’t want Mary’s opinion about. I wanted her endorsement of my opinion. I wanted her to bless what I had already decided. I wanted approval, not insight.

Wow… even now I feel my face flushing as I think about how thoughtless and arrogant it is to ask a question for which the only “correct” answer is my answer.

I have company in this space… not good company, but companionship nonetheless.

“And a ruler asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'” ~  Luke 18:18 (ESV)

Buried deeply in this question is the hope that Jesus will validate what this man has already resolved to do and to be. This is a question like my question… the question of the insecure or the arrogant.

Jesus answers in a non-endorsing way…

“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’” ~ Luke 18:22 (ESV)

The plan of the ruler was unraveling… Jesus wasn’t rubber stamping the strategy. No, He had a much bigger agenda… the Mission of God, His Father.

Questions are a powerful invitation, but they also shine a brilliant light on the motivation of the asker. They expose just as readily as they inform.

… and for the record, I didn’t change the volume, and yes, when the meeting was in full swing, it was too loud.

Better not to ask than to be looking for an endorsement of a flawed approach.

“And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.” ~ Ezekiel 33:31 (ESV)


Always in the classroom… and sometimes in detention.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: