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Questions are amazing things. They are basically invitations. It’s nice to receive an invitation. Maybe you don’t have time to go to the party or attend the event but you were invited and given the opportunity to participate…. and that feels nice. A genuine, thoughtful question is the same. It is like rolling out a red carpet to someone saying ‘I would like to know what you think or have to say about a certain thing or topic. I am genuinely interested in you.’ In a fast paced society consumed with itself and being uber productive at all times we don’t tend to value the relational power of simply stopping, noticing a person and asking a meaningful question. It sounds so simple but can be so powerful. Maybe that’s why we dismiss it so easily? What do you think?
I’m not talking about being picked apart by someone with an agenda. Obviously there’s a difference between being asked a meaningful question and being harassed or patronized by questions. One is used as a weapon the other as a gift. I’m talking about communicating love, value and respect to another person by inviting them to share what is important to them and then being willing to hear what they have to say. With social media and ‘follower addiction’ we are becoming more and more consumed with what WE have to say and less interested in hearing from another. Everyone strives to fill the social space with their next great outfit, meal, idea or rant and, if we’re not careful, our minds and attention spans can fall in line. We can create a competitive environment where people feel they have to force their ideas to the forefront in order for anyone to pay them any attention. That works for some people. However, there is a treasure trove of beautiful stories, insightful wisdom and encouragement to be found in the one sitting quietly who just needs to be asked a question and invited to share. You hold those keys and can unlock doors by taking time to ask a simple question. (Click Here To Read ‘Relationship Aren’t Efficient’)
Do You Want To Be Well?
I have always been fascinated by how Jesus often asked questions and even answered some questions with a question of His own. Was it truly that He didn’t know? As the Son of God He knew the thoughts of men and could ask His Father to do or reveal anything to Him at any time. Yet, He often is recorded in the Bible as asking people questions. He invited people to share what was in their hearts. He invited people to get in touch with what they really thought or believed by the questions He would ask. It was a gift to them. The Son of God positioned Himself to hear what they had to say. From the woman at the well to the lame man by the pool of Bethesda He asks questions and invites them to share their hearts. In turn He got to share His. It reminds me of the verse in Proverbs that says ‘a gift opens a way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great.’ We honor people when we ask. It is a humble thing to do as long as we do it with a genuine heart and willing spirit. (Click Here To Read ‘Some Miracles Are Up To You’)
Both of my parents are dealing with cancer right now. Thankfully both scenarios seem to be very manageable at this time but, needless to say, it is a point of concern and daily prayer for me. However, life goes on and the daily responsibilities and rhythms of activity continue. But every now and again something amazing happens… out of nowhere someone stops and asks, ‘Hey man, how are your mom and dad doing?’ Someone asks. Someone stops for a moment and invites me to share about something that is so important to me right now. They may not even know my parents, but they asked. So simple. So small. So powerful and so appreciated. With just a few words that end with a question mark someone communicates to me they care, they remember and are interested in how I’m doing. I have been shocked by how life-giving it can be.
There are people all around us with wonderful stories to tell. There are hurting people that could use some encouragement two cubicles over but we may not know it until the moment we ask… ‘How is your family doing these days? Are your kids enjoying school?’ Granted, we have to make time to hear their response or be prepared for good or bad news to come out of their mouths. But you are giving a gift every time you ask. Maybe you will get one word answers 9 times out of 10. ‘Fine’. ‘Good’. ‘Not bad.’ But that 10th time may be the one where they feel you’ve taken enough interest in them to share their hearts. When that moment happens you’ve stepped into a new level of relationship where connection can take place, empathy can be shared and experienced and hope can be offered. It all starts with a simple question. Take time to ask. Take time to listen. And watch God use the simplest of things to bring value to someone today like you never thought you could. (Click Here To Read ‘He’s On Every Page Of Your Story’)
From the Bible
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” – John 5:6 NLT
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. – Psalm 2:8 ESV
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