A few weeks ago I had a discussion with someone I've known for over a year now. He isn't a Christian, but he never ceases to think out loud about the concept of being created by some sort of God.
He tried challenging me on whether there was a God or not last time we spoke.
At the beginning of our conversation, he asked the simple questions, and I could answer them just fine, but when he began asking "why" I was without answer.
"Why can't we understand God, if there is one?"
"Why can't we know everything?"
"Why does God keep things from us? It seems unfair."
When those questions came rolling out of his mouth, I could only answer, "I don't know. God doesn't have to let us know all of the answers. And obviously, He doesn't think we need to know them right now."
I could tell that after every time I failed to give him a firm, thorough answer, he would give me a certain look. I didn't realize what look he was giving me until near the end of our conversation. Then I realized that he thought I was just a blasted parrot.
He thought I was just parroting what other Christians around me had said before. And now that I couldn't give him a thorough answer, he had knocked me off guard.
And yet, that was not the case.
This conversation wasn't the first where I couldn't give a full answer.
And I am sure that as you are reading this, you've already had at least one experience quite similar. It's a bit discouraging when you know someone thinks you are a parrot, isn't it?
Especially when you've done tons of study all over the Bible to make sure you really believe what you believe, and that you are firm in your faith.
After all of that, I think in the end it was foolish for me to be discouraged about that. The truth is that we will never understand the mind of God. We will never be able to answer all of the questions that are shot at us.
And just because you might fail in the world's eyes to answer, doesn't mean that you've failed to defend your faith.
I know that there are a lot of people out there who will let themselves be ashamed of their work in evangelism because of things like this.
If something like this has happened to you, then maybe God is trying to show you that you've been reading your Bible through rose-colored glasses. Or maybe He used it to humble you by realizing that you aren't invincible, that you don't have all of the answers.
Or maybe He was even showing you your need to learn discernment in what you hear.
Who knows what God meant to teach you in that situation. Maybe it was that you were being a parrot.
And then again, perhaps it wasn't.
Whether you are wearing rose-colored glasses and parroting what you've heard or if you have had much studying and are firm in your faith it is always good to go back and test yourself to see whether you are firm or not.
It's good to test yourself. To examine your faith.
But don't let what the world thinks is a "challenge" shake you up.
Just because God doesn't let us know all of the answers doesn't make us unsteady in our faith.
Answer the questions as best you can, even when you don't have a clear answer.
So overall, those conversations are good. God is always teaching us something. The goal is to see what He means to teach us after every conversation.