If you have to ask…


Recently, I friend asked me what I thought about her giving a credit to a friend (who didn’t ask for it) before she left her current company and went to a new company.  She’s allowed to give credits when people ask.  I am what my pastors describe as a “very black and white person”.  In other words, I see things as either “right” or “wrong”  there is very little “grey” with me.  I explained to my friend why I wouldn’t do it.

As I thought about it, my answer with most moral dilemma should simple be, “If you have to ask, you know the answer.”  Seriously, think about situations in your life when you have “taken a poll” and asked others “What do you think?”  97% of the time, you know the right answer.

There is a second side to this too…if you do something or say something and then have to call three people and ask them what they think about it, then you know you probably didn’t handle the situation correctly.

If you do or say something then have to call three people to make sure it didn’t offend them…then you know that it wasn’t handled correctly.

The Hubs told me about an incident in which a co-worker basically stole a sell.  The Hubs told his co-worker that a call had dropped and the customer would probably be calling back.  The customer called back the co-worker not only took the call, he took the sell.  Then he began telling other co-workers why he did it (justifying the action that he knew was wrong).   If you have to justify what you did to others…then you know it was wrong.

If you have to take a poll and ask other people’s opinions about your actions or your words…then you know it wasn’t right. You are just covering your butt.

We have all done it.

We have all asked a friend before making a decision.  (Hopefully we asked someone who would give us godly advise. )  We have all called a friend after we did or said something to ask them how they took it.  (Sometimes this is good because we may have said something that sounded fine to us but to someone else’s ears it was wrong or conveyed a wrong attitude (arrogance, condescension, etc) that we weren’t aware of in ourselves.  A good, godly friend will let us know if it sounded harsh or unkind…believe me, I have lost a friend over something like this…usually over unsolicited advise offered in a harsh manner.

As a parent, I’ve been teaching my children to take personal responsibility for themselves.  If you did it, own it.  Stop blaming others for your actions.  If you said it, then own it.  If it was wrong, make a proper apology.  If your apology includes the words, “if you had not done…” or “It’s your fault” or “you shouldn’t feel this way.”   It is NOT a valid an apology.  An apology goes like this…”I’m sorry I said, ‘what you said‘.  I should not have said it. Please forgive me.” (or “I should not have said it like I did”)  It’s hard for our children to “own it”.  In our family, we are not longer allowed to say the words, “It’s her/his fault” or “It’s your fault”.  I’m done with pointing fingers.  We are owning our our own actions and our words.  We are not going to be finger pointers.

Over the past few months, I’ve been stopping myself, and saying, “If you have to ask, then you know.”

I wrote this blog a while back. I often write and then shelf the blog until I can re-read it and decide if it’s solid.

Today, I had a family member ask me a question about something…should I do this, to get this free then switch it back later?  I was thinking…”If you have to ask…”  I said, “You know the intents of your heart…”  and before I could say it, He said, “If I have to ask then..”  and I finished, “…then you know.”   😀









4 thoughts on “If you have to ask…

  1. Good stuff. It’s not only true for interpersonal relationships, it ‘s also true in our relationship with God. We should “own” our actions and approach God with an “unveiled face” as Apostle Paul talked about in 2 Co 3:18. Actually, if we will simply die out to ourself, and let God have control of our life, our desires will change and the activities you describe will never cross our mind.

    • Since our kids were old enough to talk, we have taught them to apologize when they sin (disobey, lie, steal, etc.). They are taught that when they sin against a person they need to “fix it” (make the relationship right. My hope is that they will repent quickly when they sin and not carry it around with them. We will have to see.

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