Every conversation with a three year old sounds about the same.
“Because that’s the way it is.”
“Because it is.”
I have been told I have the curiosity of a toddler. I’m not sure the comment was meant as a compliment. I’ve also never understood the warning of curiosity being the cause of death for cats.
I can’t help it. My brain needs more details. I want to understand the whys of my world and the worlds of others. I am aware curiosity can sometimes sound argumentative. Asking a lot of questions can make others become defensive. And, if we’re not careful, it makes us look nosy.
But, could curiosity be biblical?
In the book of John, Nicodemus and Christ have a fairly toddler-like conversation when Nicodemus seeks to understand those things he does not, especially the ideas surrounding salvation. Nicodemus came from privilege, was well-educated, and was considered a significant leader with power and authority. So, it may surprise us when he speaks out his strong curiosities.
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”~John 3:4 NLT
Nicodemus presses on. He simply needs more information from Jesus.
“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.~John 3:9 NLT
If we pull back a wide-angle lens, we can spot three takeaways from this example.
Curiosity requires humility. Nicodemus had to humble himself to admit he didn’t get the concept Jesus had presented. He had to step away from his place of authority to ask his simple questions.
Curiosity requires insightful thinking and reflection. We must internalize the principle at hand to create our questions. We are more engaged in the content when we are willing to ask questions about what we do not know or understand.
Curiosity requires us to form clarifying or follow-up questions. Our mind must never pretend to be satisfied when it desires more information and more details.
Nicodemus is an excellent example of curiosity done right. He shows no hint of criticism or judgment. He finds, like many of us do, that our conversations are often grounded in the questions we ask. And conversation helps us to build relationships of honor and trust. Look how well that worked for Nicodemus and Jesus.
We will only be positioned to truly learn when we are openly curious. [Read that again.]
And, I’m pretty sure it will not cost a cat’s life. Be curious, my friends! Stay curious, my friends!
What are two or three areas where you would be wise to practice more curiosity?
Dear Heavenly Father, It is easy to remain quiet when I don’t understand. Help me to be brave enough to ask questions with humility and out of curiosity, especially about the things I find in your Word.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright2021: Curiosity Does Not Kill Cats or Us: Cynthia Mendenhall: All Rights Reserved