DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS OR SHARE YOUR HEART! 8/91 Maria #148 DO 2715
1. I want to ask you JETTs & Teens to please understand that when you read my Letter to Tony, I am not trying to make you think that your situation is exactly the same as Tony's! His situation is very different from yours in a lot of ways. Remember, he is a 24-year-old adult, & he's had these serious problems for years.--And he's very responsible & accountable before the Lord due to all the training he's had.--Whereas many of you are much younger than he is, & the Lord does not hold you nearly as accountable because most of you are still young & growing & in the age of decision.
2. Although we've had to deal with Tony's destructive questions & criticisms & complaints, we don't want you JETTs & Teens to misunderstand & now clam up tight & quit being honest & sharing what's on your hearts, for fear of being disciplined in the same manner. What I said before in the Techi Series still applies as much now as ever:
3. "I would never want you to feel that we are closed off to any questions you may have.--Even questions that might look like doubts! That's the way you learn things, by asking questions!--And when you get your questions answered, then you can help teach others who may have similar questions.
4. "So when you have questions about something, it's very important that you feel free to ask. After all, the Lord has the answers to everything, so there's nothing that we should be afraid of addressing & facing together. And of course, if we don't know the answer off hand, we can pray for the Lord's wisdom & solutions, that He will give us the answers in some way. We can discuss it. Maybe we can even pow-wow it.--And we can look in the Word & see what the Word has to say about it.
5. "Techi has told me that even when I can't answer her questions immediately, she just feels relieved that she's been able to ask me. At least she's been able to unburden her heart, & it is a real relief to her, & she's then able to go on without being troubled by whatever it was that she was questioning.
6. "So whenever it's something that you have actual questions about, you should express those questions, no matter how stupid or foolish the question may seem. A question is a question, & if it's legitimate in your mind, then you should certainly express it. And as I said, even if you don't get a satisfactory answer immediately, just the fact that you've been allowed to unburden yourself & ask, sometimes solves the whole problem & relieves that burden.--At least you then feel that someone knows about it & understands what you're going through!
7. "So please, ask questions! You should feel free to bring up anything that troubles you & ask questions.--Because if you don't, you're going to wind up holding that in your heart, & as a result, you could easily grow fearful or doubtful about it. The more you hold things like that inside & the less you talk about them, the more the Devil can blow them up & trouble you with it." (From "Let'm Ask" & "More on Letting'm Ask," #2650 & #2651, GN 453.)
8. You can voice to your Shepherds even what might seem to you to be complaints, because they may be legitimate & they may be something that actually needs to be brought up, that needs to be taken care of. Of course, it's best to avoid destructive criticism, & voice only constructive criticism--criticism or ideas that the Lord may have put on your heart for the good of your Home or the Work or the whole Family. But because it's not always so easy to tell if what you're thinking is constructive or destructive, you should feel encouraged to initially voice to your Shepherds whatever is on your heart, unless you're absolutely sure it's bad & in a bad spirit.
9. But if you have any question at all, it's best to go ahead & voice it to your Shepherds, & then it will be your Shepherds' or parents' responsibility to not only try to give you the answer or explanation that you seek, but also to let you know if you're out of line in any way. And if you're told that you're out of line, then you'll know & you'll be able to clearly see that you're on the wrong track or going in the wrong direction, which, of course, is a dangerous thing to do.
10. But when you ask questions, if you're not told that what you're asking is out of line, then you can feel free to continue to voice any such questions on your heart in hopes of getting answers & explanations. Due to lack of experience, young people often have misconceptions & misinterpretations, but with just a little "explain, explain" you can so easily get your problems & questions cleared up & be marvellously freed from doubts & misunderstandings, & get back on the track going in the right direction. Even just a little explanation can often free you from a big bondage that you may be under, & can chase away big clouds of condemnation or doubt or confusion.
11. So if you JETTs & Teens have questions & doubts or misunderstandings or misconceptions, please feel free to ask! And you will most likely be handled very gently, even repeatedly over a period of time.--Unless you start voicing your questions or problems to your peers & thus start to contaminate them & cause doubt, confusion, division & dissension within the ranks! This is where your Shepherds would have to really draw the line fast & stop it. You see, there is a delicate balance in this, because murmuring & complaining is like "sowing discord among brethren" (Pro.6:19), which is an abomination to God & can have very poisonous effects & therefore cannot be tolerated. But on the other hand, when you have questions & doubts or even complaints, you need to voice them to your Shepherds because they can help you overcome them.
12. We want to make it very clear that in Tony's case, he was wrong in that he kept harbouring & raising the same type of questions over & over & over again, the same nagging doubts, questions & criticisms.--Even though his Shepherds had explained things & tried to answer him again & again, over a period of months & months & even years. In other words, he didn't receive their answers, he didn't have a "love of the truth," & he held on to his doubts & criticisms for years.
13. Another big difference between how Tony handled his complaints & how you should handle complaints is that Tony complained & griped to a lot of people. Of course, he says he was talking to his leaders, but when he didn't get what he felt was a satisfactory answer from one leader, he went to another & another & another, until he had really spread his gripes all around. He discussed his problems with practically every leader he could get to listen to him, & that's not correct procedure either.
14. If you don't like the answer you get from one leader, then you shouldn't just automatically run to the next leader you can get your hands on & ask them the same questions!--You should pray first, & honestly ask yourself why you don't like your leader's answer.--And search your heart & make sure you're yielded to the Lord, & not just being stubborn or rebellious by looking for the answers you want instead of the Lord's answers! Tony continued to ask & ask & ask the same questions because he had rejected the answers his leaders were giving him. So obviously, his OHR wasn't really a genuine question, it was a real complaint in the guise or form of a question.
15. I want to reassure you that you don't have to worry about getting a big rebuke for asking questions or voicing your problems, as long as you're just talking to your Shepherds about it & you're just asking them. So if you have a question that you really want to know about, then ask, & leave the responsibility of whether it's right or wrong to your Shepherds. But don't go voicing your doubts & misunderstandings to your peers! Ask your leadership--even if you have a lot of different questions. Just keep asking! And you'll find that such communication is a tremendous help in getting any misunderstandings or problems cleared up.
16. We may not always know all the answers immediately, but we do know the Answer-Man!--Jesus! And if we sincerely hunger for the Truth & seek it unitedly in love, we will find it! (Mat.7:7) PTL! ILY!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family