Asking questions seems to an intrinsic part of what it means to be human. From children’s perpetual “What’s this?” “Why?” “Why not?” to the philosopher’s “Where did we come from?” “Why are we here?” “Is there any purpose to our existence?” questions fill our minds.
We may not be a child or a philosopher and we may not speak our questions out-loud, but we all have them: “Why did this happen or not happen to me?” “Why did I deserve this wonderful or awful, incredible or dreadful thing?” “Is there a God and does he care?”
If we are a Christ-follower, the questions don’t necessarily stop. In reality they often become more complex when our everyday experience of the Christian life does not line up with our expectations of what it is supposed to be. Much of the modern religious message is that if you are a Christian, tithe, and vote the right way, life will be wonderful, you’ll have plenty of money and never get sick. Sounds great and those rules are easy to follow.
Well, maybe the tithing isn’t—but if you are above a certain income level, a tithe is far from a sacrificial part of your income and you can congratulate yourself by giving it and rationalize you don’t need to give more. Few churches today would challenge you on that assumption.
But what happens when reality intrudes and you lose your job, health, or a loved one? You assumed you followed all the rules. It seems like God didn’t keep his part of the bargain. At these times the questions without easy answers bubble up.