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To Those in [De]Construction

When I wrote about deconstruction I didn’t expect to have so much to say. Even still, I continue to process and verbalize my own experience. It gives me grace and empathy to walk with others going through their own paths of deconstruction. 

I know not everyone shares the same perspective on deconstruction, or the same definition (see previous post), but regardless of this, I think there are helpful ways to walk with those in deconstruction. 

  1. Encourage the questions. 

Listen and listen well. Somehow, somewhere out there are people of faith who can’t handle questions, who listen only to respond. While it is important to have a reason to answer for your hope, I don’t think this means you are to have an answer for every question, everyone asks of you. I think as believers, there can be pressure to feel as though we have all the answers and if we don’t, our faith is somehow less than. And if we struggle with unanswered questions, we fear we’ll cause others to walk away from the faith. But I’ve come to understand that I’m not omniscient, only God is. I’ve come to realize the questions can lead us closer to the Father rather than push us away. 

Lore Ferguson Wilbert wrote in her book, A Curious Faith,“Some might fear your questions about faith, but God created us curious because he wants to be found.”

I say let’s encourage the questions. Let Jesus be found in the asking. 

It wasn’t that long ago that I learned about chiasms. A chiasm is “a literary device in which a sequence of ideas is presented and then repeated in reverse order.” They’re often used in the Bible to clarify and emphasize key themes. To me, they’re evidence that the Bible is a treasure hunt and we won’t find all the treasure on the 1st, 2nd, 10th, or 20th trip. In an interview on the Holy Post Podcast, the guys from the Bible Project put it this way: “Proverbs 1, also Psalm 1, tells us there are hidden sayings, things you won’t get on the first read…We often encounter the Bible’s confusion that it causes in us as a glitch, but it’s actually a feature. Designed to bring us into multiple re-readings and to become more dependent on our community.”

When we read the Bible and have questions, that should happen. When we apply the Bible and have questions, that should happen. Not only are questions normal, they’re part of the learning process. Did you know children ask an average of 73 questions a day, compared to the 20 adults ask? Did you know Jesus asked over 300 questions in the gospels? Instead of giving answers directly, Jesus asked questions that allowed for introspection of the heart and learning if they accepted the opportunity. 

May our questions be heartfelt, reverent and sincere and may we find him in our asking, because he’s not bothered by it. 

  1. Let. Them. Go. 

Sometimes to remain in the faith, folks feel their questions need to be answered, and they walk away. Sometimes folks feel the answers they’ve received aren’t good enough, and they walk away. Sometimes the answers they find offend them. And sometimes folks just walk away. And that is their choice. 


I love the father’s response to the prodigal son. Luke 15:11-32 tells the story of two sons and a father. The younger son asks for his inheritance while the father is still alive–the equivalent to saying his father is dead to him–highly offensive! The father’s response is intriguing. He gives the younger son his share of the inheritance! He let the son go. AND he waited for the son to return. The story illustrates the father’s humility, in letting him go, his kindness in waiting for him to return, his confidence in expecting the son to return, and his mercy and compassion in throwing him a party when he returned. This is no ordinary human response to the hurt the younger son has caused–yet this is the way the father responds to those returning home, after coming to the end of themselves. 

God has been and continues to be so merciful and patient with us as we walk out our faith, it’s our duty to show the same mercy and patience with those struggling with their faith. I pray we use the father as a model for ourselves. Letting people go, with confidence in the goodness of God that would lead them to repentance, ready with mercy and compassion when they return home.  

Photo by Ana Municio on Unsplash


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