The closest I’ve been to being a curious person happened when I became curious about what Barnabas Piper could write about it in his most recent book, The Curious Christian. I’m the type of uncurious person who doesn’t care when someone accidentally almost tells me something, says never mind, and proceeds to wait for me to beg him or her to tell me. They want me to be bugged enough to bug it out of them. I mind-boggle people with my ability to move on without a whimper or care.
I realized after I read the introduction, he wrote this book for me. It’s like he knew me (outside of Twitter) and described the core of my uncuriosity. Not only that, but he persuaded me to desire to be a curious Christian with this quote:
In the chapters that follow, I will do my best to show how curiosity is one of the most significant ways we have to be image bearers of God, how it can deepen and expand our relationships with others, how it can lead us to an entirely more significant impact on society, and how it will lead us deeper into a beautiful relationship with God for all time (5).
I used to think curiosity was mainly a man thing—mainly because of my husband’s ample amount of curiosity and my lack of. However, after reading the sob-worthy dedication to his mother, Noël, he proved me wrong as he attributes his curiosity to her example. We absolutely, male and female, must be curious if we are Christians. According to Piper, “Without it, we cease to grow, and we become incapable of fulfilling our purpose in life” (31). Through developing the skill and discipline of curiosity, we discover more of who God is and the world that He has made. On the other hand, without curiosity, nothing is bigger than ourselves. This creates a problem when we have the Almighty God who is infinitely bigger than us. We tend to stay in a bubble of what is known and comfortable to us and don’t reach out to the unknown. God will never be fully known in this world. He is full of unsearchable riches (Eph. 3:8), and this excites a curious person! Instead of crippling us, this should take us on a wild adventure to seek to know our God who will continue to teach us about himself.
The Benefits of Godly Curiosity
Piper lays out the benefits of godly curiosity—how it benefits ourselves, our relationships, the church, to name a few—and measures them by the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Then, he presents how curiosity affects specific areas of life. He encourages us in this way:
Instead, it is taking advantage of every movie, every conversation, every book, every everything to see how it might be something worth curating to connect people to the truth that saves (70).
This perspective is much different from my typical “how to use the few things I am interested in to show Christ” and vastly opens new and exciting ways full of more opportunity to share Christ. Lastly, Piper assures us that our godly curiosity will not be in vain, rather, we can bring bits of heaven to earth by glorifying him in it. The random discoveries, “what if” questions, and spontaneity are worthwhile to the Christian if we aim to glorify God in them.
How to Use This Book
This book exists for the person, like me, who lacks curiosity. It helps me to see curious people in a new, admiring light. It may sound cliché, but it makes me curious and even jealous (a godly jealousy) of the curious Christian. Having read this book, I know the tools to develop the skill of curiosity, and I want to use them.
If you are already a curious Christian, this book belongs in your hands, too. Maybe you recognize that you ask a lot of questions about things and love connecting everything to God, but you do not fully grasp how to glorify God with it yet. In reading this book, you have the opportunity to use your curiosity to the fullest potential. If you are not a Christian, this book is probably not for you as you cannot be a curious Christian without being a Christian, right? However, I pray that God uses the curiosity of dead souls to discover the truth—that he is the Truth. Then, I hope they, too, will read this book and to God be the glory!