Should I take this job? Buy this house? Marry this person? We ask questions every day about the choices we face. But are we asking the most important question of all?
In Ask It, Andy Stanley identifies the one question that makes it easy to determine the answer to all other questions. You’ll learn how to make decisions with confidence simply by applying the question that brings clarity to life’s most challenging decisions.
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I see that big question mark in your eyes.
Well, not really. I can’t actually observe it from this far away—but I bet it’s there. Most of us, most of the time, are weighing some big question or two or three concerning our lives, and we keep encountering new ones all the time:
Do I stay or go?
Is he (or she) the right one for me?
Should I buy this? Sell that? Start this? Stop that? Invest here? Commit there?
I know a question that makes it easy to determine the answer to all these others.
It’s the question that answers just about everything for everybody, for the rest of our lives, and at every stage of our lives. It brings clarity and fresh insight for each decision we have to make. It pierces the fog of our self-deception and erases all those shades of gray that cloud our reasoning. It takes us beyond simple right and wrong, beyond what’s merely legal, beyond the lowest common denominator.
And if we’re honest with ourselves, God will use this question in the deepest parts of our lives to help take us to the place of our fullest potential.
Not only that, but it’s a fairly easy question to answer. In most cases, you’ll know the answer immediately.
This is a question that will save you a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of stress, and—more importantly—lots of tears. I can even state the case this way:
Your greatest regret could have been avoided had you asked this particular question and then acted on your conclusion.
Regardless of whether it’s an action or event you regret or an entire chapter of your life that you wish you could do over—had you evaluated your options through the lens of this powerful question, you would have avoided what may be your greatest ongoing source of pain.
As you move through the pages that follow, you may find that this single question could have changed the trajectory of your entire life.
It’s a question I ask often every day. It’s a question that guided me through my late twenties as a single man. It’s a question that has served me well through twenty-six incredible years of marriage. It’s a question I’ve taught my three kids to ask about every option that comes their way. They absorbed it, because it’s the lens through which we learned to evaluate every decision we made as a family.
Over the past thirty years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach this principle to thousands of middle school and high school students. Many of them are adults now with children of their own. Letters, e-mails, and conversations assure me that this big question continues to serve as a decision-making filter for scores of these young adults.
When I share this valuable question with adult audiences, the response is nearly always the same: “I wish I’d heard this years ago.” Translated: “I could have avoided some regret, if only…”
This single question serves as a lens through which you can evaluate all your options. It’s a filter that casts things in their actual light. It’s a grid that provides context for every choice. It will provide you with a new perspective on your love life, your career, your finances, your family, your schedule—everything. It’s a question that will shed light on issues the Bible doesn’t specifically address.
But it’s not always an easy question to ask. Sometimes it can be a bit threatening, because it exposes so much about our hearts and our motives. But that’s just one more reason it’s so revolutionizing.
This book is divided into six parts.
In the first part, you’ll be introduced to our big question. It takes me a couple of chapters to get to it, so be patient.
The second part explores some common (and dangerous) alternatives to asking our big question.
In the next two parts, we’ll apply our question to two key areas of life: your time and your relationships.
Then, in the fifth part, I’ll let you in on a secret known by all the world’s best decision makers.
Finally, in the last part I’ll challenge you to make a decision that allows you to get the maximum benefit from this question.
The principle behind this valuable question has impacted my decisions—and consequently my life—more than any other. This is more than another book for me. This is a life message. The content isn’t simply pulled from a series of sermons; it’s drawn from the years of my life’s journey.
I hope you enjoy the book. More importantly, I hope this powerful question becomes a permanent part of your decisionmaking process. If you have the courage to ask it, your heavenly Father will use this simple question to guide and protect you in the days to come. And as you experience the significant difference this question makes, I think you’ll agree that it’s one you’ll want to keep asking for the rest of your life.
Table of Contents
Introduction: If Only… 1
Part 1 The Question
1 Dumb and Dumber 7
2 A Most Uncomfortable Question 11
3 The Slippery Slope 15
4 Climate Control 23
5 Stemming the Tide 31
6 Seasonal Wisdom 37
7 Looking Ahead 43
Part 2 The Alternatives
8 Opting Out 55
9 Turn Around 63
Part 3 A Question of Time
10 Time Bandits 69
11 Live and Learn 81
Part 4 Question of Morality
12 Sex for Dummies 91
13 Hindsight 97
14 Life Rules 105
15 Extreme Measures 111
16 Flee! 119
Part 5 Wisdom for the Asking
17 Hide and Seek 129
18 Knowing What You Don't Know 135
19 Everybody's Business 141
20 Listening, Learning 145
Part 6 The Best Decision Ever
21 Perfecting Your Follow-Through 157
22 The Beginning of Wisdom 165
Study Guide 177