I don’t care too much for maxims or clichés as they often seem to obscure understanding more than illuminate. But one that has stuck with me from my college counseling classes is, “Accusations harden the will but questions convict the conscience.” I ran into several convicting questions during my morning Bible reading:
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
Numbers 14:11 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?
Hebrews 12:7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Malachi 1:6 A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name.
Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?
An interesting study would be the questions of Jesus. While there are notable exceptions (e.g. Matt. 16:3-14), it seems that Jesus often uses questions for just this purpose- to cause a man to examine himself and see the true nature of his failings. Just looking at Luke 5-6 I notice:
Luke 5:22-23 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
Luke 5:34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
Luke 6:3-4 And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?”
Luke 6:9 And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?”
Luke 6:33-34 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.
Luke 6:39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?
Luke 6:41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
When the Lord starts asking questions things might not be going too well for you.