The Tough Questions

“Peter, do you love me?”

Talk about a tough question that puts you on the spot, especially after having denied Christ three times when it mattered most. Jesus never asked a question to which He didn’t already know the answer. So why ask? Reason–there was something Peter needed to know about himself, about his heart, and asking the tough question was the only way for him to discover the truth. For Jesus, community mattered. He cared enough about Peter to ask the tough questions.

Beginning of the Story

This story really began when Jesus told Peter, “You will disown me three times.” It wasn’t a harsh  or condemning statement. Jesus was for Peter. He was on Peter’s side. In fact, immediately after telling him what would happen, Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. (John 14:1, NIV)”  But instead of asking Jesus what He saw in him that would lead him to deny knowing Christ,  Peter refused to examine his heart, insisting instead that even if the others left he would never do so. And he meant it at the time. Peter thought he knew his own heart–that he truly loved (agaped) Christ enough to make the hard choices in difficult times. “I won’t fail you. I’ll be faithful. I’ll be there for you even if the others aren’t.” Unfortunately, Peter too quickly dismissed Christ’s ‘feedback‘ because he couldn’t see into the blind spots of his heart.

Blind Spots

The fact is none of us can see into our own blind spots. That’s part of the reason God placed us within the community of believers we call the Church. We need others to walk along side and to speak truth into our lives with love. The problem is, within the Church, we rarely teach how to give and receive feedback from one another nor do we provide the opportunity for this to happen. You can’t ask the tough questions without some face-to-face time in a community where you feel safe enough to be open and honest.

Who Is In Your Community?

So, who in your community asks you the tough questions? For me, it’s Aaron, my best friend. Many times I don’t like the questions but I know he loves me and that God placed him in my life. The following video shows a great example of asking the tough questions. In it, Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris question Francis Chan about why he’s leaving Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA. At one point, in an effort to force Francis to examine his true motives for leaving, Mark asks, “Is this a discontentedness in your soul that won’t ever be satisfied?” All of us, at times, need feedback–someone to speak truthfully into our lives, into those blind spots that hinder our growth in Christ. So think for a moment. Are you part of a community? And if so, who within your community of believers, your circle of friends, your church–who do you trust enough to ask you the tough questions?

Francis Chan Interviewed by Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris

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