The Sunday School Answer
Q: This struggle is truly tough to deal with; what can I do to overcome it?
A: Just pray about it
Q: I’ve felt so lonely and depressed; how long will I feel like this?
A: God never leaves you alone.
Have you ever found yourself on the giving or receiving end of “Sunday school answers"?
Typically, when you are seeking an answer and ask a question like these, chances are you have reached the point of desperation. It’s the point where you may be given a Sunday school answer, and all you can think to respond is, “I’ve already been praying about it!” or “What is that supposed to mean?” or “That’s easier said than done!”
These pleas masked as questions are often times rhetorical; straightforward answers like those in the examples can then be counterintuitive to the person receiving them. The asker may feel as though the answer is either way too simple for such a complex question, probably not well thought out, or far from reality.
If you find yourself giving someone a Sunday school answer, then you may simply not know exactly how to respond to someone’s difficult situation. Perhaps you truly can’t relate to their problem and you go with the first answer that comes to mind. Well, those apparent and sometimes surface-level answers are most often the right answers.
When I find myself yearning for an answer to the difficult challenges I face on a daily basis, I often hope and pray for a complex and thought-provoking answer, something groundbreaking or mind-blowing that I had never thought of. On some occasions, I have received that mind-blowing answer, which helps for a moment until I have to ask God for a better understanding of that answer because I can’t fully decipher it. It is a never-ending cycle that ultimately leads back to that Sunday school answer I was trying to avoid.
I've realized that God doesn’t overcomplicate things; in fact, He makes them simple to understand.
I once read a chapter from a Christian book, and the author stated that if you are ever confronted with a complicated question like the questions stated above, then the best answer to give is Jesus.
I sat there completely perplexed as I imagined myself both receiving and giving such an answer. I know if I were just told the answer is "Jesus," I would sit there and say “OK, go on…” But it truly is that simple.
In any situation, at whatever level of difficulty, Jesus is our lifeline. He has known us since before birth. He has always been with us. He knows every struggle, every emotion, and every reason behind every tear we have ever shed. He is always and has always been there. Jesus and His radical love will always be the best Sunday school answer for me.
So, the next time you find yourself on either the giving or receiving end of Sunday school answers, avoid trying to decrypt rocket science and always think "Jesus first."
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.