“Would you take out the trash?”
“I’m busy right now.”
“Well, you need to get unbusy and take out the trash…now. I’m not going to ask you again.”
This parental statement cracks me up. Maybe you shouldn’t ask in the first place. Think about it. When we ask a question, we want – and expect – an answer. When we state a command, we want – and expect – a response. They look similar, but they’re different. Ask a question, and the answer might be no. If you know you’re expecting a response by behavior, eliminate the possibility of a no. Transform
the question into a command. Or, if you think the word command sounds too strong, perhaps you like statement of instruction better.
I’m not going to ask you again actually means I’m not going to tell you again.
If you’re asking and truly want an answer, you’ll likely ask again and again. The question might be reworded, but the question mark on the end doesn’t change. Know what punctuation you’re using.
What’s one question you’ve asked repeatedly but haven’t received an answer?
Why do you want an answer?
We ask question for a variety of reasons. Yes, we want an answer, but sometimes we want a piece of information, and other times we’re seeking broader understanding. Sometimes it’s more about comfort than understanding. And sometimes we’re checking in with someone to make sure the person understands.
Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened. Matthew 7:8
You might not receive what you expect in the timing you want to receive it, but when you put a question mark at the end of a thought and approach God with it, you’ll receive. Focus less on the content and the details and more on the relationship you’re receiving. And be aware of the punctuation you’re using. Take a refresher course in grammar. Take out a red pen and check yourself. Mark corrections where your question marks, exclamation points, and commas are being misused.
Susan Lawrence is passionate about equipping and encouraging women through writing and speaking. She’s the author of two Bible studies, Pure Purpose and Pure Emotion. She loves dark chocolate and long walks, especially when her toes are in sand! Check out Susan’s words of encouragement and send her a note at her blog or on Facebook.