Friday, September 10, 2010

The Art of Negotiation

Recently on a return trip from camping over Labor Day, I was forced to spend several hours in an upscale hotel lobby after a vehicle breakdown. As I sit waiting on the needed parts to arrive so we could get the vehicle repaired, I watched the people coming and going in the lobby. While waiting I made an alarming discovery. People actually haggled over the hotel rate and surprisingly all got reduced rates. I am not unfamiliar with the negotiating concept and having a couple of decades in sales experience, I have haggled and been haggled far too many times. I just never even considered trying bartering for a room.
This discovery got me thinking; how many dollars have I left on the table all these years? Since 1983 I have been getting my own room from time to time, and having traveled quite a bit, have been in my share of hotel/motels. If I would have saved $5 - $10 dollars every time that comes out to a pretty large chunk of change over a twenty-seven year period. You wonder how many other people don’t know about this technique. Am I the only ignorant person who just asked for a room and either paid or moved on?
Then while pondering this financial travesty, YHWH spoke to my heart. “You don’t have because you haven’t asked.”
James 4:2 You lust for something and you do not have it; you kill and you envy and you are not able to obtain. You get involved in machalokot (divisions of dissensions) and fights. You do not have because you fail to daven (pray) with your request.
James 4:3 Or you make techinot (petitions) and you do not receive, because you ask wrongly, that on your ta'avot (lusts) you may spend what you receive. [TEHILLIM 18:41; 66:18]
WOW! So Ya’acob says exactly what YHWH spoke to me, we are doing without what YHWH wants us to have because we are not asking. Why wouldn’t we ask? What would keep us from asking YHWH for the things we need?
Scripture clearly states that whatever we ask, faith believing in His Name, He will provide. But maybe that’s the problem, we aren’t asking IN His Name. To ask in His Name, you will ask for what He desires. Maybe we are not so much willing to line up with His will before asking. Maybe we spend too much time asking for things we know aren’t really kosher or copacetic.
Then there is another possibility to consider; maybe we are too proud to humble ourselves and ask. We tend to be very self reliant and independent and most of us are raised under the “do it yourself” mentality. Personally, I probably fall under this category more that the first one listed above. I always tell myself that what I need is not near as important as what others need and I am somehow taking up YHWH’s time by burdening Him with my petty requests.
YHWH wants to baruch (bless) us, and He desires that we receive the things we need. Somehow, we His children, must get past these two hindrances and allow Him to be our Abba.
Psalms 66:17-20
(17) I called to Him with my mouth, And praise was in my tongue.
(18) If I have seen wickedness in my heart, יהוה would not hear.
(19) Truly, Elohim has heard me; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.
(20) Blessed be Elohim, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His kindness from me!
Luke 11:9-13
(9) “And I say to you: ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.
(10) “For everyone asking receives, and he who is seeking finds, and to him who is knocking it shall be opened.
(11) “And what father among you whose son asks for bread shall give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish shall give him a snake instead of a fish,
(12) or if he asks for an egg shall give him a scorpion?
(13) “If you then, being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father from heaven give the Set-apart Spirit to those asking Him!”
So what can we ascertain from these passages? YHWH wants to give us what we need and ask for and He wants us to ask when we need Him. Sounds simple enough, right? If it is so simple, why do so many of us struggle to survive while lacking the basic things in life?
Consider a servant and how they live. A worthy servant under a righteous master doesn’t need anything. We as Bond Servants have a Tzadik (Righteous) Master, He wants us to be blessed and lack nothing.
I have known many people who have unfulfilled needs simply because they are too proud to ask someone for help. Living with the mindset that others should observe their needs and give to them so they don’t need to ask for help, keeps many from having what they need.
So they path to prosperity begins with a servant’s heart. Sounds kind of backwards from the ways of the world, doesn’t it? The world teaches us that we must take what we need or want. Never show your weak side, divide and conquer, plunder and ravage. YHWH says humble yourselves and seek His face, turn (teshuvah) from your wicked ways and He will hear us and provide.
So maybe it’s time I quit being too proud to ask and be bold in the power of His might. Maybe I should get in line with His Word and walk His halacha (path) so that I know I am not asking amiss. Then I can see His blessings in my home and in my life.