2 Kings 4:1-2
1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”
When other are in despair (without hope) then will come to you with a problem, but they may not know where to start. Elisha’s first question was, “how can I help?” to me that is the best first question? It does 2 things.
- It allows the Leader to judge where the person is in their despair. If a person is truly hopeless their mind will not know how to process this information. This lets a leader know the depth of the issue.
- It allows the person in despair the ability to know you are the right person to ask for help. You show you are willing.
The second question is basically, show me/ tell me what you do have.
People in desperate situations will feel as if there is nothing. If there is nothing, you might need to ask a few more questions until you get to the “except a small jar of olive oil.” Be patient with them. Remember they feel hopeless and see no way out of the situation at the moment.
Are you leading this way?