When he spoke these words during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was speaking specifically of prayer, how when we humble ourselves and ask God with pure motives and open hearts, we will receive answers.
But I also believe that these words reveal a powerful, universal principle that is vital for those who seek success and significance in life.
He didn’t say, “complain and your life will get better.” Or, “whine with righteous indignation and things will change for you.” Ask. We need to ask – the right questions, of the right people, in the right ways – in order to expand our understanding and capabilities. But when we ask, we must be willing to act – to do something with what we receive.
Among these are your natural gifts, your work ethic, your experience, and your relationships. In order to access and engage your relational resources, and harness the power to propel yourself forward, you need to ask the right questions in the right ways, of yourselves and of others.
The flip side of this principle is that you will also be asked.
A successful life has responsive momentum, not unlike a tennis match. Do you know the game you want to play? If not, figure that out. Then ask! If you do not, it’s as if you’re unwilling to serve the first ball. When a shot is hit to you, answer. Give it your attention and clear action, anew keep the natural rhythm of life moving forward. Asking. Acting. Asking. Acting. Master both skills, and you will grow your abilities, honor your relationships, and expand your impact.