Questions From Readers
▪ What should I do when I have a question about something I read in the Bible or when I need advice about a personal problem?
Proverbs 2:1-5 encourages us to “keep searching for” understanding and discernment as if we were looking for hidden treasures. This helps us to understand that we need to make an effort to find answers to our Bible questions and to try to find solutions to our personal problems. How can we do this?
The book Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education has a chapter called “How to Do Research” on pages 33 to 38. It explains how we can find answers to our questions by using the publications that “the faithful and discreet slave” gives us. (Matthew 24:45) Page 36 explains that we can use the Watch Tower Publications Index. The index has a list of subjects and a list of scriptures. If we have a question about a word or Bible verse, we can search for that word or verse in the Index, and it will show which articles or books may contain the answer to our question. You may need to be patient to find an answer to your question. Remember that it is like looking for hidden treasures, so it will take time and effort.
Of course, there are some subjects and scriptures that our publications have not discussed. And at times, the publications may have talked about the verse you are interested in, but maybe this still does not answer your question. Also, some Bible accounts do not explain all the details, so we may have questions about these accounts. We should not expect to find answers immediately to every question. If there is no answer to our questions in the publications, then we should not try to guess the answer. If we do that, we could become involved in arguments about “questions for research rather than a dispensing of anything by God in connection with faith.” (1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9) The brothers who work at the branch offices or at the world headquarters cannot answer every question about subjects that have not been explained in the publications. But we can be sure that the Bible gives us enough information to guide our life. And the things we do not yet understand give us an opportunity to show that we have strong faith in God and in his Word.—See pages 185 to 187 of the book Draw Close to Jehovah.
But what if you have done everything you can to research something that is important to you but you have not yet found a solution? You could talk to a mature Christian, maybe one of the local elders. They have a good knowledge of the Bible and have served Jehovah for many years. If you need advice about a personal problem or decision, they would be able to help you since they are nearby, and they know you and your situation. And never forget to pray to Jehovah and tell him everything that is troubling you. Ask him to guide your thinking with his holy spirit, and he will give you the wisdom and discernment you need.—Proverbs 2:6; Luke 11:13.