Saturday, April 7, 2012

it makes me happy that you would ask

in college i had a friend that, every time asked her for a favor or to borrow something, would say "of course.  it makes me happy that you would ask".  and she truly meant it.

what she was trying to communicate was that it made her happy to know that i trusted her enough to ask; that i didn't "feel bad" for asking her and find some other way to get something done.  we were close enough that i could be vulnerable and depend on her for various things.

at first it struck me as a bit unusual when she would say this.  but i have come to understand more and more what she meant.

i've noticed that we live in a culture that more and more doesn't want to depend on others.  as americans, we highly value our independence (after all, it is what we were founded on), so we try to find ways to detach our need for other people in our lives.

'Borrow one here!' photo (c) 2011, {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester} - license:

what if your car battery dies?  don't call a friend with jumper cables, call AAA to help you out.

are you going through a tough time in life?  don't open yourself up to be vulnerable to a friend, hire a therapist.

do you need to move? don't burden your friends to pick up your couch, hire moving "professionals"

do you need parenting advice?  don't call your parents or friends, pick up the latest parenting book for all the "up-to-date" information.

need someone to watch your kids?  let the day care "professionals" do it, certainly they will love your kids just as much as a family member.

need a ride to the airport?  don't ask your neighbor, hire a taxi.

and the list goes on and on.  as we become richer, we are able to hire these "professionals".  so instead of humbling ourselves to ask a friend, we can hire someone and avoid the pain of asking.

in general, these things are just observations and not condemnations.

but i do have one caveat.  it should be different in the family of Christ.  for those who follow jesus, we should be depending on one another.

but perhaps we are hesitant to ask because we ourselves would prefer not to be asked for help.  and so the willingness to ask might need to start with the willingness to give.

what do i mean?  in general, you wont want to ask for a favor that you wouldn't readily give to someone else.  but in light of jesus' saving gift of forgiveness and adoption into his family, we are brothers and sisters, and so should serve one another like the perfect family.  moreover, as we recognize how abundantly and graciously God has already given to us, we should desire to graciously and abundantly give to others.

jesus himself said "it is more blessed to give than receive".

so next time you need something, call another follower of jesus.  give him/her the opportunity to be blessed by God by helping you out.  and you will be blessed as well, and draw closer to God as you humble yourself to depend on another person.

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