Get Your Ask in Gear

At a pastor’s conference this week, Ed Young encouraged us to get our ASK in gear. We should Always Seek Knowledge. Who knows something that you don’t know? Who has experienced something that you’ve yet to experience? Whatever your passion, calling, or line of work, you should never waste an opportunity to glean knowledge. It’s amazing how willing people are to share their wisdom with you!

Have you ever had a conversation where the other person just talked about herself the entire time? We all have. You walk away feeling dissatisfied, don’t you? When I find myself on the receiving end of a one way conversation, I usually assume the other person really needs someone to listen and I consider it an act of love to be that listener. But it’s weird how people will share their problems, without ever asking for wisdom.

We should always seek knowledge and wisdom. This is why I love talking to older people. Because of time’s steady passing, older people have learned valuable lessons about family, marriage, finances, and discipleship. I love to learn from other pastors, I love to get marriage advice from successful husbands. Learning is a responsibility we should all take seriously. When I exercise or drive, I listen to podcasts. That means for at least an hour a day, I’m learning from someone who has valuable wisdom that I need. (And it’s free!)

One of the reasons people fear to get their ask in gear is because they fear looking stupid. It’s tempting to think, “If I ask a question, that person will think I’m stupid for not knowing the answer already.” Let’s talk about Proverbs 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Hard words, no? The truth is hard sometimes. The word that is translated “discipline” is mostly commonly translated as “instruction.” We could read it, “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”

In other words, if you don’t love instruction, if you don’t crave knowledge, if you don’t consistently seek wisdom, you’re already stupid. If someone corrects your mistakes and you don’t love it, the bible (and God) says you are stupid. Every time someone corrects your mistaken ideas or points out sin, they are loving you. Your choice is to receive their love or be a fool.

Not only is it wise to always seek knowledge by asking questions, it has the bonus effect of causing people to like you! When I was 16 years old, I read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. There is a section of the book called “Six Ways to Make People Like You.” (This book was especially helpful for me since I was such an abrasive kid.) Check this out.

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
2. Smile.
3. Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

When you ask Tom about Tom, not only might you learn something, but Tom is going to walk away thinking, “Ya know, I like that kid. He’s sharp.” There’s supposed to be a natural cadence and rhythm to a conversation. You should ask a question and then shut up! A little while ago, I had a conversation with a guy who asked a polite “how’s it going?” and then proceeded to talk about himself for over an hour without pause. If you converse with people like this, not only will you never learn from others, but friends will start being “unavailable” for coffee, and start “missing” your phone calls.

If you want to be successful, always seek knowledge. Finding someone who is willing to mentor you is like finding treasure. Stop being a fool and get your ASK in gear!

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