Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:7-12
We’re coming into the holiday season filled with lots of asking and giving. I love this passage because it helps us line up our beliefs about needs and wants. Here’s the lessons I learn from Matthew:
1. God created us to have needs. So many folks incorrectly label themselves as “selfish” for having legitimate needs. We are amazing, complex creatures made by God to have a wide variety of needs. Acknowledging our neediness keeps us humble and dependent on our loving Heavenly Father.
2. God wants us to ask for everything. There’s no shame in asking, whether it be for a something material, relational, or financial. Matthew doesn’t say we can only ask for “spiritual” needs vs. “secular” or “material” needs. Children don’t hesitate to be vocal about what they want. Part of parenting is to create a safe environment where conversations take place helping kids grow in discernment about needs. As God’s beloved child, I talk to him all day long about how I feel, what I think I need, and how to live a healthy, godly life. Knocking and asking leads to learning and maturing in understanding the good gifts God wants to share with me.
3. God teaches us how to love others well. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves so in order to meet the needs of those around us, we must learn to do a great job of acknowledging and validating our own needs.
Every morning of every day is like Christmas morning for me. My child-like heart is super excited to see what good gifts my Father will bring me. I love beautiful sunshiny days, a hug from a friend when I’m sad, a call from my son, a chocolate peanut butter ice cream cone, and a great deal on a new car. Since I’ve learned to ask for everything and see God’s hand in every moment, I get a boat load of gifts every single day!
Take some time now, before the holiday season takes off, to sit with God and critique your beliefs about asking and giving.