Why is it that we tend to avoid the very questions that could save us later on in life? You know what I'm talking about: those "deep" questions that make us uncomfortable inside, because answering them means looking extensively into our motivations, our pasts, or our weaknesses.

But what if we re-framed this? What if, when asked a "deep" question about ourselves (the state of our hearts, minds, and spirits) we focused on the benefits?

What if this was an opportunity to become aware of ourselves in a new light, to hone in on our strengths, and prepare for the future? The future will happen, no doubt about it. And when forced to make certain life-altering decisions, when tested, it is best to know oneself inside and out.

Why ask the hard questions? I believe that asking and digging is obedience to the Bible. Let's look at what James and Proverbs have to say:

"Dear brothers and sisters, when trouble comes your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing" (James 1:2-4).

Asking the hard questions encourages a strong foundation and enables an aware mind. When difficult, pressing, or life-altering times arise, your very character will be tested – and you will want to know if your character is built on a solid foundation, or if it is weak and breakable!

What are the benefits to asking the hard questions? Proverbs 2 gives us clarity:
Understanding what it means to fear the Lord (v. 5)
Common sense and protection (v. 7-8)
Discovering the right way to go (v. 9)
Wisdom, knowledge and joy (v. 10)
An eternal inheritance (v. 21)

Are you prepared to ask some hard questions? To assess your strengths and weaknesse? To assert your deepest values and discern your spiritual gifts?

"Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (v. 7).

We begin with the Lord! Sitting at His feet, asking for revelation, and worshiping Him as the only True One. He knows us inside and out. When we actively seek out truth, asking the hard questions both about God and about ourselves, we gain the most treasured reward: knowing God more intimately. When we recognize that we are His beloved children, knowing God intimately spills over into an awareness of our own identities.

The most important point: asking and seeking must start with God. When we seek God's face and His truth, He blesses us with wisdom, knowledge and insight to navigate the roads of life.

So, ask the hard questions:

What has God made me passionate about?

What do I most value in my life?

In what areas is God challenging me to change?

Which choice will most glorify Him?

What is keeping me from pursuing God more fully?

What doubts do I have, about myself and about God?

Who am I, and why am I here?

Heavenly, All-Knowing Father, We confess that we look not to You for understanding, but to the world around us. But only in You can we find true understanding! We seek Your face for guidance, knowledge and a deep security that only You can offer. May our understanding be for Your sake, that the world will see that we are Your disciples. Clarify the areas of our lives in which we are not following after You. Reveal the gifts You have given. Convict us of the Spirit's work. Show us what You value most. And may we love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength!

Amen.

What holds you back from self-assessing? What is God prompting you to pray about today?