So let’s talk about why many of us struggle to ask for help. So what is your answer? You don’t need any help? You don’t want to bother someone else? Is it a matter of wanting things done a certain way? The Bible reminds us that the followers of Jesus can do more for the Lord when we work together.
I have to make a confession. Now I love to help people with understanding more about Jesus and what the Bible teaches. Most people know that I am a computer guy. I would definitely fall into the nerd category. I also have an incredible thirst for understanding. So it at times does get frustrating when people carrying a computer in their hand with unlimited data access repeatedly ask me for answers to questions that they could “google” themselves. I am not focusing on taking the easy way out and not doing the work ourselves. What I am focusing on is described in Proverbs 15:12 ““A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.”
There are many reasons why we do not ask for help. There are valid reasons like I have touched on above. We have a phone and can google the answer ourselves. But there are times that our “pride” becomes a barrier from finding God’s insight on an issue and letting God work through others to help us. The verse above is speaking of pride. It you take the time to read all of Proverbs 15, you will notice that this is a main theme in this chapter. I would encourage you to click on the link and read the 33 verses.
Let’s get back to our verse in Proverbs. It may not be obvious that a scoffer is a person that thinks they are better than others. It would include a person that is always right. Now the term can also be used to describe someone that is mean to others and makes fun of them. Our verse seems to be speaking of a person that just views themselves as not needing help. This verse is not putting down independent hard working self sufficient people, but those who have a proud heart. We see this truth come to the surface in the verse in the two complementary statements. First we learn that the scoffer does not like to be reproved. The term reproved here carries the idea of pointing something out. It could also include what we would call constructive criticism. The challenge for the scoffer is that they are not open to the feedback and insights of others. It is the second half of the verse that magnifies the issue. They are not open to helpful feedback. It says, “They will not go to the wise.”
This verse has been true for each of us at some point in our lives. It is when we set our hearts on doing something and don’t want others to change our mind. You have encountered this as well in others as a parent, a spouse, a coworker and even as a Christian. Let’s be honest with each other, we probably struggle with this at least every couple days and even daily. This stubbornness of heart is a manifestation of my pride and an absence of my humility.
The challenge for followers of Jesus is not to be described by this verse. The first step to making that happen is honestly listening to those other voices. The verse encourages us to be actively seeking wise and Godly counsel. Now it did not say that we should act upon every recommendation but seek it. There are times that God speaks into our lives through others. God could be opening a door to a better solution. God could be warning us from making a regrettable decision. So “Why Don’t You Ask for Help?”
-Pastor Joe Parkinson