Questions can come to us from two different directions. Questions we have about God (internal) and questions other people ask us about God (external).
At one time, I was scared to death of external questions. I would be paralyzed with fear whenever someone had a question for me about why I believe what I believe. Most likely because I believed without knowing the answer or committing the answer to memory, I believed what I believed, but I wasn't comfortable explaining the answers to the tough questions others would bring to me.
Let me give you an example. One day, several years ago at work, a group of us were talking about God during one of our breaks. A very good female friend of mine said something like, "How do you know God is not a Woman?" Good question, right? You would think, for someone who has been learning about God for years, this is a pretty easy one to answer. However, I froze in fear because, at the time, I wasn’t prepared to respond correctly and with love. Now, I know this is embarrassing, but I need to make the point.
After spending a couple of hours with God telling Him how embarrassed, sorry and ashamed I was because I couldn't defend Him and didn't have an answer. He lovingly helped me to realize that I did know the answer, I just wasn't prepared to present it. My perspective needed adjusting. Instead of thinking that everyone will see God as I see Him and say, "That is so obvious," I needed to anticipate that people have questions about God; good, valid, legitimate questions that need answers.
Understand, the answers to most questions are there, you just may or may not like the answer. Nonetheless, just because you do not like an answer, doesn't mean you shouldn't invest some time into getting to know God better. The more you know about who God is, the better you will be able to understand the answer.
Back to the question of how we know God is not a woman. Jesus always called God "Father," He never called God "Mother." Also, Jesus was born of a virgin woman, meaning He had a mother and God was His Father. Therefore, God is masculine or male; God is NOT a woman (sorry ladies). Obviously, my fear of the question was unfounded.
Lesson learned. If for some reason you do not know the answer to a question someone asks you about God, look at this as an opportunity and say, "That is a GREAT question. Let me research and get back to you with the answer. Are there any other questions about God that I can answer or find out the answer for you as well?"
What this does is give you three opportunities. One, you get to find out the answer for yourself and grow in your faith, knowledge, and understanding of your relationship with God. Two, you get to continue your conversation about God with someone who is curious. And three, you get to relish the joy of sharing God and His love with someone else.
What a blessing and an opportunity that is! Be grateful for them, cherish them, thank God for them and their questions, and always ask God for the wisdom to represent Him to others properly. After all, once we enter a relationship with Him, His desire is for us to go on and to represent Him well to others.
One of the most important skills you can develop in answering “external” questions is listening. Listen to the person who is asking the question. Listen to the question. Repeat it back to make sure you understand it correctly as well. And whatever you do, don’t jump into a “bible-badgering” session with them. They may not know God the way you do, for that matter, they may not know the Bible the way you do. Go easy on them, don’t be James and John reigning down fire and brimstone on them because they don’t get it, or they don’t understand. God has given you a command, love others. He didn’t tell you to destroy others with your biblical knowledge and prowess, be love to them, help them to fall in love with God. You have an amazing opportunity in front of you, don’t waste it by judging, enjoy it by sharing Him and His love!
The point I’m trying to make here is that you should avoid "debating" or “arguing” with others about God as this is a combative position. Debates and arguments take a "right vs. wrong" approach. It is far more loving, productive and kind if you "discuss" Him and His Kingdom with others. This requires communication, and for communication to exist, you must first "listen" to what the other person is saying. When you listen before you attempt to communicate His truth, you are doing a much better job at reflecting Him and His love to other people.
Way too often Christians take a "know it all" approach and try to bludgeon people with the truth and the Gospel. How is this loving? How is this kind? Especially when you do not take the time to listen to what they have to say, you interrupt them and tell them how it "really" is. Now you may be right in your "theology," but you are so very wrong in your approach. Notice what Paul says to the Corinthians:
The Bible says: Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14 emphasis added)
The “let all that you do be done in love” exhortation is the hard part. Since Jesus is our example, spend some time and study His life, His ministry and His interactions with people. Jesus rarely got mad, angry or frustrated with people. He did everything in love, with a loving heart, truly caring about and for the soul of the person He was interacting with. We should do the same. People didn’t always like how Jesus answered their questions. Why would we expect anything different? For example, look at the rich man that asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life:
The Bible says: And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. (Luke 18:18-23)
The rich man was sincere in his question; he truly wanted to know what he must do to inherit eternal life. Maybe he thought the answer would be easy, after all, he had great wealth, he could “buy” his way through anything. However, he doesn’t like the answer Jesus gives him.
Jesus always had a way of putting His finger right on what the problem was with people. In the case of the rich man in the story above, his wealth was interfering with his relationship with God. He wanted eternal life, but he didn’t want to give up everything for it. Notice how painful Jesus’ answer is to the rich man? He (the rich man) became very sad after he had heard what Jesus said to him. Why? Because he was very wealthy, his world revolved around material things; he may not have known how he could exist apart from them. And now this Jewish teacher is telling him to get rid of it all and give it to the poor. Now we do not know if the man ever did what Jesus told him to do, unlike Paul Harvey, the Bible doesn’t always tell us the rest of the story. However, God wants complete obedience and loyalty from us. After all, He purchased us with the blood of His Son, He owns us and wants nothing to come in between us and our relationship with Him. Even though it may be difficult to do, we must always remove any obstacle to our relationship with God.
Perspective #51: Even though it may be difficult to do, we must always remove any obstacle to our relationship with God.
Finally, people will often use the phrase “well I think” or “well I feel” when it comes to God. Now that may be all well and good, however, it is irrelevant. As I said earlier, what we feel or what we think does not matter. In the end, the only thing that matters is what God feels, what God thinks and that my friend is what we should be basing our relationship with Him on. What God feels, what God thinks, what God wants should be our only foundation!
Do not be afraid of questions. They are good and will help you grow in your relationship with God. As you go through this series, keep a notepad handy so that you can jot down your questions and either research them or ask them online at walkerjamesauthor.com.
 See the 10 Commandments in either Exodus 20:12-16 or Deuteronomy 5:16-2