Do you ever cringe internally when you’re approaching an upcoming conversation with someone because you know the questions they’re going to ask and you just don’t have the bright, shiny, polished answers? Yeah… that happens to me. These questions may come from distance acquaintances whom you barely know, or they may come from close family and friends. And the topics can range across all areas of life- family, relationships, marriage, kids, jobs, finances, if you can think of it… then add it to the list.
Sometimes I feel like I can answer a question with all of the positive aspects of the answer first, but then when it comes down to the not so positive things I kind of dance around the answer. I can kind of picture it like having a garden (which is a really ironic metaphor to come into my mind considering the fact that I despise gardening). If someone were to ask me “What’s growing in your garden?”, I would first of course point out my beautiful tulips, zinnias or lilies, but I am much less willing to admit all the weeds that can be found growing just below my beautiful buds.
So then I find myself wondering, well do I answer them truthfully and admit there might be some weeds in my garden? Or do I stick to only displaying my flowers? Here are a few questions I can ask myself to help me navigate these scenarios:
- Am I answering honestly? No matter what the question is, there is no reason for you not to give full honesty when answering someone’s question about your life. Whether it be about your job, relationship, family, friends or faith- let’s not allow ourselves to fall into the temptation to tell little white lies to make those weeds disappear. Just remember- honesty breeds vulnerability which ultimately breeds community and closeness in relationships. Maybe being honest with this person can grow your relationship.
- Does this individual need to know about certain details of my life? Another thing that helps me determine what I need to say is who I am speaking with. It’s OK to not feel totally comfortable sharing certain things with certain people- that’s completely up to your discretion. And if this is the case, in stead of getting caught up in our first scenario and feeling tempted to lie, I simply try to answer their question succinctly and move on to another topic. If it’s not something you don’t want to talk about, then there’s really no reason you should have to.
- Do I even have the words to answer their question? Sometimes the weeds are too overpowering, they’re too strong and so overbearing in your life. Sometimes the small act of a question being asked can send us into a complete tailspin where we completely loose sight of truth. This also has happened to me a time or two. So what do you do in those situations? When the words don’t come… when you honestly don’t even know what to say… just pray. Pray for the Lord to give you the words you do not have, and pray that He will carry you through this conversation with His grace and peace. Even a prayer in a split second can make the biggest difference.
Pray, trust, and don’t be afraid of people asking questions.