Ask Questions

I heard about an old blacksmith who realized he was soon going to have to quit working so hard. With retirement in mind, he picked out a strong young man to become his apprentice, who, as fate would have it, was not the smartest fellow around. The old blacksmith was crabby, impatient and exacting. He told the young man, "Don't ask me a lot of questions; Just do whatever I tell you to do and you will do fine."

One day the old blacksmith took a white hot iron out of the forge and laid it on the anvil. "Get the hammer over there," he said to the boy, "When I nod my head, hit it real good and hard."

Now the town is looking for a new blacksmith.

"Don't ask me a lot of questions" is not very good advice. The truth is, it is almost always in our best interest to ask questions. Ask questions to learn something you don't know. Ask questions to clarify something you're not sure about. Ask questions to gain a new perspective on a matter.

Think of the men and women in the scriptures who asked questions:

The disciples came to Jesus and "asked him about the parable (of the sower)" (Mark 4:10). They received the best commentary in the world on Jesus' parables -- from Jesus himself! Why? Because they asked.

John the Baptist asked a good question -- "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" (Luke 7:20) Even though this may have appeared to be a "stupid question" coming from John, Jesus sent him a gracious answer.

The Philippian jailer asked perhaps the most important question in the world -- "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30) which led him to respond to Christ in an obedient faith.

I have known many people through the years who were hesitant to ask questions -- either in a classroom setting or even in private -- because they didn't want to appear to be stupid. As the saying goes, "There are no stupid questions." Don't be afraid to ask. The more you are willing ask, the more you will have the opportunity to learn!

Have a great day!

Alan Smith