Every Mother, and many Father’s have experienced the dreaded moment when their child blurts out a question or statement in a public place. It is always the grocery store, church or a restaurant. It is always a personal question. The place is always absolutely silent in that moment. I remember saying it to my children. “You are being rude.” Most of the time it related to an inquisitive child’s mind not understanding visible differences. They are actually innocent questions that deserve answers. As adults, we do not want to hurt feelings or embarrass people. (At that moment, particularly ourselves.) Questions like, “Why doesn’t that man have a leg? Or Don’t they know that smoking kills babies? Mommy, without Jesus they will go to hell.” My children did it to me I feel horrible for my parents, I was an outspoken, loud child that asked “why” a lot. (My parents were red faced…like, a lot. I had LOTS of personality, at least that is what they called.)
I was raised in North Carolina. The south. No, it is not the deep-south, but just try to tell any of us we are not just as southern as any Georgia or Mississippi Belle and we will have some words for you. Manners were important growing up. In some families, manners were more important than your education. (Because if you did not mind your manners, you would not get to see the end of your education.) How we became such an opinionated and outspoken lot with that high horse value on manners is quite perplexing to me. It’s probably just the humidity.
Asking for anything beyond a cup of sugar, to make tea of course, was not really done. You mentioned needing to get something done and people volunteered help…we just did not ask. It is partially to do with pride and partly to do with not showing weakness. (We will jump on that weakness part another day.) Proverbs 16:18 sums up the issue with pride. “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” (I suppose that is why there are so many YouTube videos with southern accents.) Pride is dangerous because it prevents us from seeking help. It also gives us a false sense of confidence, which leads others astray.
This brings us back to “asking not”. I am going to refer to James 4:2-3. “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure.” This is my reference point for the next little bit.When children ask those questions we think seem so rude, they want to understand. They are not being cruel. Let’s be honest, we, as a society, teach children to be cruel or kind. They just want to understand why something is different or new. When we get older and we ask for help, we need something. I absolutely cannot move my couch by myself. Even with my husband and sons, if we have help a move is going to happen faster it will be less strain. A few of my moves have some fantastic, silly memories attached to them. The difference is our motive in asking someone to help us move is need based. We are not being jealous, we have a need and if we do not ask, they do not know. When we become bitter because no one offered to help, we are wrong – not them.
Then there is the green eyed monster of jealousy. Your peer at work got the promotion and you are mad about it. You undermine his/her authority because the job should have been yours, in your mind. However, you never went out for the job. They only got the job because of seniority. You know you are more qualified, you have studied, worked really hard to enhance your knowledge and skills and you are mad because they received the promotion over you, just because of seniority.
Jesus says “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7 NSV) These are examples from my life. Things for which I am abundantly guilty, but by grace forgiven.
I have spent several days praying, reading my bible and not posting to consider my motives. I have faith that our motives can be pure and that God will give us fulfillment, pleasure and insight. My “manners” are screaming at me, saying it is rude to ask, but I am asking. There was a point in time that asking would have been self-motivated, I can honestly say as I sit here typing, I want God to use me. I do not want the gifts he gave me to go to waste. I am stepping out in the knowledge that we have not, because we ask not. I have asked God to use my writing. If all it ever is, is the words in this blog – ok God, I’m here. I want to do more, but if this is where God uses me. This is where I am. If something bigger is in store, which I believe there is…I will step through that door. (Feel like I am agreeing to step through a lot of doors…am I the only one noticing that?)
This weekend the blog site will be upgraded. It may be down for a little while for the transition. It will have a slightly new look and possibly a new webpage. Please, share my blog with others after the upgrade. If you are reading my blog from FaceBook, please go to the site and click the link to subscribe. Please share with me your thoughts, your comments, criticisms, tell me what God is doing in your life, share with me what is influencing your relationship with God and anything else that will help build the Kingdom.
Once I have the upgraded site set up, I will eventually be setting up social media to correspond based on what is going on with the blog. I plan to have links to my church, so if you do not have a church home, or if you are on vacation or something – you can Livestream service with us. The tech stuff will be slowly added because I will be having to ask for help. Please join me, please share the blog. Even you are not compelled to share the blog or subscribe, please pray for me. Please pray for me to continue to yield to God’s direction. God bless you and have a fantastic Friday.