How awkward questions can help build Collaborative Connection

John the Baptist was confused

I have always been troubled by John the Baptist’s question to Jesus: “Are you the One who is coming, or do we look for someone else?” (Luke 7:20)

Didn’t they have the baptism incident together, hearing God’s voice etc? Wasn’t he Jesus’ right-hand man? In addition, John sent his disciples to ask a difficult question. I wonder if he was already in prison by then or whether he was too embarrassed to ask personally.

My heart goes out to John, tormented by a question that must have touched him to the root of his soul, but he is brave enough to ask the awkward question, ‘Excuse me but if you are really God, shouldn’t something else be happening here?’

Look at Jesus’ response. He could have banged his head against the wall thinking “Not even my cousin gets it!” Rather, he gently answers him, situates him in the OT Scriptures and gives him some advice, “Blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over me” (v.23) Ouch but so true!

What John doesn’t hear is Jesus’ assessment of him to the crowds: “There is no one greater than John…”

The bottom line is that John got the help he needed to more fully connect with Jesus by asking a difficult question. He got a nagging doubt out of the way and probably got something sorted out that he would need as he faced his imprisonment.

So when a co-worker takes a risk and asks me a question concerning my credentials, I can either be threatened or I can use it to build a bridge that allows for deeper collaboration.

What questions do you need answered in order to better collaborate with others? Add your thoughts to the comments.

Photo credit: Diamond Farah, “Awkward” March 24, 2009 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attibution