Jeff, being the great guy that he is, answers, “Hey (you, insert your name here), good to see you! Things are going…pretty good….hmm, they’re going okay.”
You press farther, “Only okay?”
Jeff: “Well…honestly? Things are pretty crappy right now. Hate to be a downer but yeah, if we’re being honest…things are (searching for the right word without wanting to sound too down)…rough.”
You, knowing Jeff’s situation and that whole Jeff-lost-his-job-because-of-the-economy thing, you’re afraid to ask him if he needs help with anything, like needing a loaner car since a “little birdie” told you that the transmission just broke down in Jeff’s car. Jeff, reluctant and somewhat embarrassed, starts sharing about his struggles in the job hunting world, how there’s too much month left at the end of the money, and yep, he mentions the car situation.
You know that you and your spouse own three cars as it is and besides, you hardly ever use the Escape except when the weather starts turning. You offer it to Jeff for the time being until his car gets fixed. And, as you expected, Jeff politely declines, saying they have a plan in place already to get by until things are fixed.
It’s too bad this conversation never happened in real life. It’s one of those mental conversations that we play out in our heads. We see a situation and someone in need and we start to play out in our mind what we already think they’re going to say. “Naw, I’m not going to ask them _______ ….”
Then we follow it up with these words, “….Besides, I already know what they’re going to say anyways.” Really? Is it that scripted? Are you that in-tune with where they’re at right now that you can predict their responses?
We fall into the trap of just assuming that we know what people’s responses will be, what they’ll say, and how they’ll react. One of the greatest opportunities to serve might be when we don’t just assume someone’s reaction or response. God might be leading you into a situation where He wants to use you to bless others in incredible ways, ways that we can’t always predict or foresee because we are not God.
Take the chance and ask your questions, just in case. It might open up a great door of opportunity that you might have assumed was never open in the first place.