Some problems are our fault – the results of poor choices.
Some problems are just a part of being human. These things happen to everyone on some level or another.
And some problems are a “gift” from God, provided by Him so that we can make needed adjustments and advancements in our character.
I believe that we can grow through each of these types of problems. Here’s how:
Embrace the problem. No matter how hard we fight, we cannot be problem-free. Learn to accept the inevitability of difficulties. Now, maybe if your problem is self-inflicted, you can learn a lesson and avoid making the same mistake in the future, thereby avoiding a resulting difficulty. But the expectation that our lives will be devoid of problems is immature thinking. Without becoming a pessimist, learn to expect challenges in life. You can’t reach the mountaintop without a difficult climb!
Ask the right questions. The typical first question most people ask when faced with a problem is, “why?” “Why is this happening to me?” I think a better question is, “what?” “What is God telling me?” “What do I need to learn?” “What benefit is there to be derived from this situation that will make me a better and stronger person?” “What will I think about this experience, once it is over?” Asking the right questions at the right time will result in more wisdom gained though experiencing the problem. Make it a goal to learn as much as possible through every problem you experience.
Look for someone else to benefit. As much as we’d like to think it is, it’s not all about us. Many of the struggles I experience are, directly or indirectly, an opportunity to assist someone else. The lesson that I learn, the information I pick up, or the strength that I gain most certainly can make a positive difference in the life of someone near me. If I go through problems staying focused only on myself, two things happen: I increase my self-centeredness and the needs of others go unmet. The next time you’ve run head-on into a big problem, look around – not to see if someone is watching – but rather to see who you can help.
We’ll never be problem-free. So we might as well get good at dealing with problems. And just maybe, how we deal with problems will be part of the criterion that God uses to reward us once our lives are over. In the end, I want to hear God say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Not, “Well, you’re done!”
6 Replies to “3 ways to grow through a problem”
This is good!
Were you thinking of me when you wrote this? I know how egotistical that is of me but it feels like it…
Thanks for blessing me
Caryn, I am humbled that you were touched by the post. I was not thinking of you and it startles me to consider your situation in light of what I wrote. I do believe it is true but I never want to treat the crises of others lightly. Thanks for the reminder that real people with real issues read this stuff. Sometimes it’s easy for leaders to just spout out theory. We don’t have that luxury. We are praying for you!
What really amazes me is that some times, not always, we misdiagnose problems as ours.
God’s working on us all.
Let go, and Let God do it.
Dont get me wrong, we have to be ready to move when He nudges us to.
“No matter how hard we fight, we cannot be problem-free”
This is something I have to be reminded of on a VERY regular basis. Even after having accepted that problems come and can even be agents of growth, I still find myself sometimes “fantasizing” about the time when a certain problem will have passed…a habit that can make it very easy to forget all the wonderful things that God has already given me in life.