“He loves his friend best, who hates his lusts most.” 
–George Swinnock
 
 
     The questions you ask yourself and the questions you allow others, especially friends, to ask of you are the second most transformative force in your spiritual formation.  Christian, what is the first most transformative force for change in your life? Setting that topic aside for now, consider the power of a sentence to transform your life and in particular, consider the power of a question to shift your perspective and birth great change.  The book of Proverbs describes the power and beauty of a well-spoken word:
 
A word fitly spoken
    is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
    is a wise reprover to a listening ear. (Proverbs 25:11-12)
 
Perhaps, you are more familiar with verse eleven than verse twelve, the power to transform is highlighted when we take both verses together. Who discovers the beauty of a challenging word? It is the listening ear who hears the word of challenge or reproof. Wow! How excellent is the Christian friend who has been trusted enough to speak a word of challenge?
 
     The Puritan Thomas Brooks recognized that believers need to be examined and truly desire to be examined. He writes, “A sincere Christian prays his friends to search him, and he prays soul-searching ministers to search him; but, above all, he begs hard of God to search him; ‘Search me, O God.’” (Thomas Brooks, A Cabinet of Choice Jewels, 320.) This kind of searching is often accomplished by a timely question. Think of all the occasions that Jesus sought to bless, challenge and restore others through the use of a question. He questioned the Pharisees, the rich young ruler, the disciples, and whole crowds. Yes, this was a teaching technique but consider his meetings with the disciples when he asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Or his powerful and restorative questioning of Peter, “Lovest thou me?” 
 
     The blogger, Tim Challies discusses the power of a question. In a recent blogpost reviewing the book True Friendship by Vaughn Roberts, he notes:
 
In Roberts’ book, I came across one of those lines, one of those sentences, that has stuck with me and, I think, will continue to do so. It was a question, a simple question aimed at doing what every Christian wants to do: Destroy sin and pursue holiness. Roberts was talking about the kind of friendship men ought to have with one another and the kinds of questions they should be asking each other as they go through life together. Here is what he wants his friends to ask him: If you were the devil, where would you attack yourself? (Tim Challies’ blog)
 
Do you have a friend that loves you enough to toss a spiritually searching question your way on occasion? Rejoice if you do for you are blessed. If not, ask the Lord to send a friend or two like that into your path and pray to have a listening ear. Have a blessed week and we will Zoom with you soon.
 
Love in Christ,
Pastor Dale