Yesterday I counseled a ninja.
Not an actual stealth soldier trained in the martial arts, but someone nearly as talented. A person undeniably adept at verbal ninjitsu, the dark art of maneuvering around an issue by distracting everyone else with all the wrong questions.
It was a frustrating exchange. Regardless of what I said, this person continued to loudly and emphatically repeat questions that moved the dialog away from the real issues. The ones that were just too personal. Too painful.
The right questions are vitally important. They illuminate. But they also force our hand. Good questions can be scary, especially when they make us look inward. So we’ve all become quite clever at not only avoiding them, but throwing out well placed distractions to move the focus elsewhere.
That’s why Jesus often answered questions with questions. If you look throughout the gospels, He rarely responded directly to an inquiry, especially from a religious leader. Not only were they usually asking the wrong things, but their questions were laced with hidden meaning intended to trap or distract Jesus from the real conversation.
Jesus was the ultimate verbal ninja. He always knew how to bring the dialog back to the things that really mattered.
Which got me wondering.
Are there any questions I’m asking that are just veiled attempts to avoid what Jesus is really asking of me?