Great questions get to the heart of the matter. Just think about how connected you feel when others understand your heart. Deep, meaningful questions matter. They pull people in and help them to know you truly care and will take the time to listen to them. Warmth and openness let others know that we are not there to judge them, but to receive them just as they are with no expectations. People who ask must also listen with care and attention to the answers received without sounding like they know everything, but are simply there to support and listen with compassion.
This simple act of valuing another enough to ask and listen awakens something in the one sharing. They begin to feel cared for, noticed and alive!
Beautiful questions are ones that sink into deep places of the soul, that welcome others as we search for connection and friendship, and that opens new territory for two people to share. Beautiful questions have a tone of support that assumes the best about the other person and knows that deep within there is much goodness just waiting to be discovered.
As we study the life of Jesus we see how He models this art of asking great, timely and engaging questions. Jesus was immensely curious and compassionate towards others. His questions were asked with kindness, not accusation. He loved to engage with people and bring out the best in them! Jesus posed questions that pierced the heart and opened genuine conversation. He desires to know your heart, your hurts, your fears, your passions and dreams.
Great questions are meaningful and inspirational.
Often most people ask questions not because they care but because they simply want to gain information, leverage someone, pass the time or appear polite and protect their reputation. Jesus’ questions however always came from a place of love and honest friendship.
Many of us fail at great questions because we are too self-absorbed. If we are overwhelmed with our own status or our own agenda, then it’s nearly impossible to be truly curious about the friend or spouse right next to us.
Think about how you feel when spending extended time with a family member, friend or colleague who never shows any curiosity about you or your life, you will likely walk away feeling exhausted and lonely. Selfish people are consumed within their own agenda and they suck the life from those around them. Selfish people are not curious people.
Jesus’ entire life, however was an expression of self-giving love. No wonder the questions He asked came from His heart and reached the heart of whomever He was speaking to.
Some questions open a conversation while others instantly shut it down.
Truly engaging people come with an open mind willing to learn, wondering what might be discovered. Seek common ground when conversing. There is always common ground no matter the background, culture, learning style, etc. We are all made in God’s image, and those that ask great questions view others in this light, seeking the good they are sure to find!
Seek to live life unhurried and be curious about others. Seek the good in them that you are sure to find. Live with a pure heart and in this way, you are sure to ask great questions that will transform many lives by helping them to feel valued, heard and connected.