When the Questions Come at You! How to Respond to Gossipers.
How many of us struggle with responses to nosy questions from time-to-time? I don't know about you, but growing up, I remember when people would pry into my life with invasive questions. Typically, they would be awkward and probe into private topics that would be embarrassing to answer. To make matters worse, sometimes not answering the question was just as bad as actually giving a response!
Let's set the scene for a moment: You remember the grade school days when you would have a crush on someone? No matter how nonchalant you tried to appear, someone would always sniff it out. Next thing you know, they're there to ask you "Is it true that you like so-and-so?" If you don't like to lie(and I don't), your options are to answer or keep quiet, but both seem like awful choices!
On one hand, you don't want to tell someone your truth because you want to keep your business to yourself. On the other hand, you know if you keep quiet, people could just assume that they're right and go on to let everyone else know what THEY think.
Then there's the vague answer, where you aren't lying, but you aren't completely telling the truth. I've tried this multiple times. The downfall is, no matter what you say, someone could only be interested in twisting your response to fit their story. What's displayed is their truth instead of THE truth. I know I could not have been the only one to experience this right?
As much as I would love to write that off as, "Oh, it's just kids being kids.", the reality is this: These kids grow into adults with the same habits. My mom used to always say, "It doesn't stop when you get older." So how do you deal with personal questions from nosy people?
Let's see how Jesus dealt with it.
20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”
3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: 4 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”
8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
This passage is labeled "The Authority of Jesus Questioned". It's fair to say that the Pharisees were not interested in learning anything, but Christ already knew that. When the Pharisees came to Jesus with bad intentions, Jesus didn't sit there and argue. Instead, He re-directed them with a question of His own. Remarkably, the question that Christ asked required the Pharisees to seek Yahweh for the answer. They very well could have gone into prayer, but they did not. When they failed to give Jesus the answer, He refused to answer them.
It's no surprise that there are still people today who will approach you the way the Pharisees approached Jesus. Following the example of Christ, the best thing we can do is re-direct them back to God. Maybe suggest, "You know, that's the perfect question for you to take to the Lord! Let me know what Holy Spirit says!", and then move on. We all have the ability to seek the Lord for an answer. If a person desires to be invasive, they must first get permission from Him and that is up to the discretion of the Lord. If they come back without an answer, then you are under no obligation to give them one unless you have been personally prompted by the Lord to speak.
Disclaimer: Context is important! If you are a counselor and you've been told something dangerous where legally you must speak, this doesn't apply. Follow the laws of your land! Romans 13:1-7.
This is for much more than the basic example of "Who do you like?" This is for any area of your life where you feel under attack. Of course, when God has you in a season of pruning and improvement, attacks come in many forms. Unfortunately, some people will come to you, asking questions and seeking information with poor intentions. The enemy will try to destroy your confidence and mindset through wrong conversations. John 10:10.
If your discernment is telling you to keep something private, then keep it private and use the Lord's example to do so. If Jesus himself used this example, then we as His sheep should follow His lead because He left us a framework. Even if someone still tries to twist your answer, leave it to God and take comfort in knowing that you gave a good response. The battle isn't yours after all. 2 Chronicles 20:15.
Turn the enemy right back around to God and let Him deal with it.