The benefit of tough questions

Athletic competition is fun to watch. More fun to watch than to do.

That’s because athletic training is hard, relentless work. Those who want to be at their best continually push themselves to perform better. They measure weights, distance, heart rates, oxygenation levels, recuperative time.

The benefit of tough questions

While you and I may not be professional athletes, we nevertheless have a race to run as well; one that demands just as much fervor. We may not lift weights but we’ll be called upon to solve weighty problems. Or endure a long running project. Or calm hearts racing with anxiety.

The venerable coach of the early church, the apostle Paul, wrote, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24).

Run in such a way.

There’s a right way to run and it requires that we bring our “A” game. No slacking. No excuses. Just lean in and get better.

We get better by asking questions. Tough questions. Questions like:

  • What habit is most robbing me of time that could be better spent elsewhere?
  • What skill am I proactively investing time and energy to develop?
  • What goal am I pursuing that will put my resolve to the test?
  • What person or cause could I demonstrate greater commitment to?

You get the idea. If the question makes you wince, you’ve probably found one that needs a good answer. Go ahead. Ask yourself a tough question. You know you need it.

What are some of your favorite tough questions to ask yourself?

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4 thoughts on “The benefit of tough questions

  1. Do I truly love others by listening to them and giving them the benefit of the doubt, withholding judgment, or do I spout theology or quick-fixes in my therapeutic interaction? In short, am I helping heal others through love, or gouging the wounds in their souls deeper through laziness of attitude?

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