It means "writings." I write things.

11:15 AM

My favorite 3-letter word

Posted by Brad Polley |

Die.  Just kidding, that would be morbid.  Although die is a good word.  Maybe I'll write about that sometime too.  At least once a day (or never) someone asks me, "Brad, what is your favorite 3-letter word?"  My response?  Why.  

It's a word that is short on letters, and long on implication.  By adding a simple question mark to the end of this word, we stumble on, what may be, the key to following Jesus.  Seven years ago, I graduated from Bible College (read: fake college) and entered into the full time ministry.  This 3-letter word always seemed off limits to me, because, after all, the pastor or professor knew more than I did and I just assumed that everything they said was true.  Shortly after entering the ministry, I started using this 3-letter word, and my life hasn't been the same since.

Why do we ask why?  Have you ever thought about that?  My two year old is fluent in "why-ese."  It's totally annoying, but I started to think about why he questions everything.  He asks why all the time because he's trying to learn and grow.  It's part of the process of maturity and growth to ask the question, "Why?"  At some point in our development, it seems to me (and Christians seem to be worse at this than anyone) we stop asking why and start assuming we know it all.  This is the surest way to stunt growth.  

Asking why serves a couple of purposes.  One, it helps us to examine ourselves and our motives. Before we do anything, maybe we should ask ourselves why we are about to do said thing.  This checks our motives and should, hopefully, cause us to make fewer stupid decisions.  When someone wrongs us, instead of a knee-jerk reaction, maybe we should ask why we are reacting in the way we are.  This would show us that our response probably has something to do with pride and having our pride wounded, thus we blow up and make a bad situation worse.  By calling out our pride, we have a chance to check it at the door and shrink its influence on our life.  

Two, asking why causes us to question everything we read in the Bible or hear in church.  To some, that last sentence was akin to heresy, but hear me out.  The Church should be a place where people are free to question.  Just one time, when I preach, I would love to have someone stand up and ask why I said a certain thing.  Christianity grew out of the Jewish tradition (it was a totally Jewish sect until people thought it would be a good idea to hate Jewish people), which is a tradition that is founded in questions.  They question God, they question each other, and they question themselves.  They do this because they have a profound understanding that questions lead to growth, lack of questions leads to spiritual atrophy.  Christians need to regain this ability to question and they need to do it now.  

By not asking questions, we allow our faith to be hijacked by pastors who's message revolves around God making you rich and healthy.  By not asking why, we hold on to ridiculous theories about the origins of the universe, while ignoring science.  By not asking why, we become slaves to political ideologies that have nothing to do with following Jesus.  

Asking why always leads to more questions, thus a never-ending cycle of growth and change.  Don't be afraid to question.  But be careful, you may just find freedom.