I believe there is a single question that has the potential to change someone’s life. And no, it’s not “If you died tonight are you absolutely sure you’d go to heaven?” (although that one has changed plenty of people’s lives, too).
Questions that change people’s lives are introspective ones. They are questions that force someone to think about the world and about themselves. They are questions that lead people to know God better and also to know themselves better.
That’s why I think the 1 question that can change someone’s life is this:
Why do you ask?
By asking that question, you show someone else that you’re not just interested in dispensing information; you’re interested in them as a person. And you’re not just helping them find an answer; instead you’re leading them on a journey of self-discovery.
But to truly ask that question, and to do it justice, you have to be willing to listen more than talk. You have to actually care more about the person than you do about showing how smart you are by giving them the information you seek. You have to be more committed to them than you are to answering their question.
For all those reasons, I think this question can not only change someone’s life – I think it’s one of God’s favorite questions back to us when we come to Him seeking information. It seems to me that God is far more interested in who we are than what we know. He’s more interested in developing us as Christ-followers than just passing out divine nuggets. And so He takes the time, effort, and energy to make us think, consider, process, and develop instead of just passing out information.
Isn’t it worth the same time, effort, and energy for us to follow His example?