I have a theory I practice often.
I’ve been using it for many years—as a leader, father, a friend and a pastor. It’s not always what people come looking to me for, but I think it’s the best practice.
I don’t always give people answers.
• As a pastor, people come to me for answers.
• As a dad, my boys come to me for answers.
• As a friend, people come to me for answers.
• As a leader of a team, people come to me for answers.
In any case, I don’t always give people answers.
I don’t try to solve their problems for them.
I know that seems hard to understand—maybe even cruel of me.
Now, if there is a clear biblical answer for their problem or issue, I give it to them—as I understand it. I’m talking about the issues more difficult to discern. Things such as career choice decisions, the calling in life decisions, who to marry, how to respond to a marriage conflict, etc.—the unwritten answer type decisions.
For those type of issues, I probably have an opinion, but I almost never “have” the answer.
I help people discover a paradigm through which to make the decision.
• I become an objective listener.
• I help them see all sides of the issue.
• I share Scriptures that may speak to both sides of the decision.
• I serve as an outside voice.