learning how to ask for help

So, how do we learn to ask for help?

1. Learn something new.

My running project has been great practice for learning how to ask for help. I’ve got some friends (and a son) who know much more than I know, and I am aware that as a new older runner, I know little and can damage a lot. So I ask for advice. I ask about strategies. I offer plans and wait for responses. I am humble about my running knowledge because I have to be. I’m hoping that this is also teaching me about how to ask for help.

2. Find someone you know you can ask for help.

When we know we’ll be criticized, it’s hard to ask. But I’ve got a couple people who I can talk with about Bible questions as colleagues. We’re off-line, conversational, comparably experienced and ignorant. We are helping each other.

3. Consider asking God for wisdom.

This isn’t some shortcut or spiritual thing. Not exactly. But James tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God who gives it generously without saying, “It’s about time, stupid.” So if we pay attention to the way that God teaches us, we can learn something about asking for help.

4. Spend some painful time examining why it’s hard to ask for help. 

When I was learning how to live more healthy, I asked myself questions about why I eat. When I started getting angry with our dog in the middle of the night, I asked myself questions about why I was so angry. And I’m spending little bits of time asking why I find it hard to ask for help. What am I afraid of? How much of my identity is tied into knowing answers? What am I trying to hide?

So, what are the next four?

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.