It’s an honest question. Does God poop? I have wondered many things about God, but I can’t say I have wondered about that. I understand that putting God’s name in the same sentence as the word poop can be offensive to some people. If that is you, I am sorry. I mean no offense. This is a valid question from the heart of a 4 year old who genuinely wants to know his Maker better. As him mom, I will let him ask his questions, and I will encourage his genuine, childlike wonder.
We learn in school that there are no stupid questions. Maybe that is true and maybe it isn’t, but one thing is true: asking questions is what opens the door for greater understanding, if it is understanding we seek. “Stupid” questions are usually not seeking greater understanding.
We know that God is more than capable and strong enough to handle any question we throw his way. He is not shocked by our blatant honesty nor our sometimes flagrant disrespect. He receives each question, knowing the longing in our hearts that fuels our questions (Luke 16:15). He looks beyond what is said to the heart that the words come from. He understands.
Asking questions can help us know God better as well as help us know others better. We do not grow in relationship with someone by waiting around for them to offer information and insight. We have to ask. We ask because we want to know. We ask because we want to show that we care about them. We ask because that is the only way to grow closer to a person.
When we ask questions, we have the opportunity to grow in understanding, but merely asking questions does not guarantee we will gain understanding. We have to WANT to gain understanding. In doing so, we will ask good questions.
I don’t know about you, but I have been a part of many conversations where questions are asked, but the person ends up backing you into a corner rather than drawing you out. Their questions are really yes or no questions and aimed at getting you to agree with them, rather than trying to understand your heart in the matter. Some people just want to prove a point or push their agenda. I do not care to engage in conversation for very long with these people. I do not see the point. That’s just me.
What I LOVE is when someone really wants to understand. I do not like conflict, but I do not shy away from it. I believe conflict can be very helpful, as it highlights disunity or possible misunderstanding and gives us an opportunity to find common ground again – only if we are willing to seek understanding.
The heart of a person is a complicated and deep matter. It takes intentionality and a willing heart to stick around long enough to really understand the heart of another person.
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight (understanding) draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5 NIV).
Not many things feel worse than being judged or misunderstood. When someone makes a judgment about you, or claims to understand you, but doesn’t, you are stuck. You can try to change their mind, but in the end you have no control over what they choose to think. That is tough sometimes.
God often reminds me of a verse in these situations.
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9 NIV).
If you have known me very long, you have probably heard me quote this verse. Maybe that is because I have struggled with feeling misunderstood quite a bit in my life. It stinks. At times, I have felt misunderstood by those closest to me, and you know that hurts the worse.
In these instances, I rest in the truth that if my heart or actions have been in err, God will make that known to me – because I ask him to reveal if I have anything to own up to. If I know that my heart and conscience is clear, then I can walk in security, even if the world seems to be coming unglued around me.
I am extremely thankful that God has put some wonderful people in my life. I have several friends who have been willing to stick around long enough to truly understand my heart even if sometimes what I put on the exterior does not accurately reflect what is in my heart.
The reality is this: we can not control how another person receives us or receives the words that come out of our mouths. I really struggle to be in relationship with a person who takes offense easily. Maybe my mom just did an incredible job of training me to see the good in people, but I do not take offense easily. If someone says something hurtful or rude, I usually assume that they did not mean to offend or they were speaking out of their own woundedness. Don’t get me wrong, I still get hurt by words, but I am usually not offended.
I strongly dislike having to try to be politically correct, and this is not because I do not care if I offend someone. I strongly dislike trying to be politically correct because one: It feels like the politically correct manner to address certain people and certain situations keeps changing, and I have no idea what is the current “politically correct” term. Two: Can’t everyone just assume that I am not trying to be offensive or derogatory? If you knew my heart, you would know that I really do not want to offend anyone. I really want to honor people.
So what if we all stop taking offense so easily and decide to assume the best about others? What if we choose to give the benefit of the doubt far more often than we receive hurt?
My close friends choose to assume the best about me and give me the benefit of the doubt. I can not explain how loved and free this makes me feel. They trust the love I have in my heart for them. As a result, conflict may arise, but it does not evoke fear in me. I know that in the end, we will walk away with greater understanding for each other. And understanding is good.