Let’s face it, we all have problems. Some problems are small, some problems are large. Some problems are simple, some are complex. Some problems are a nuisance, some are disastrous. Handling and solving problems is an art form that we must master.
Do you remember the old reruns of “Father Knows Best?” It certainly was a different era at that time. The premise of the show was pretty simple—a midwestern family consisting of the father, Jim Anderson, his wife, and three children. Each show featured a problem the father would work through on everyone’s behalf, then he would offer the best solution to “the worst thing that could ever happen.”
As men, we are often considered the problem solvers in the family. We should not only embrace this responsibility but we should master it. Problems are gates to your significance. The solving of problems can distinguish you from others and position you for promotion.
Learn to “run to the roar” to solve a problem.
David was a great example of this. As a young shepherd boy guarding his father’s sheep, he learned how to solve problems by running toward them and not away from them. When a predator wanted to take one of the lambs, David would run to the roar! Instead of running away from the problem, he ran to it. This kind of problem solving developed David into a would-be king. He fought a lion. Then he fought a bear. When a giant came out against his fellow Israelites, David ran to the giant. As a result of this approach he was promoted to lead an army and a nation.
Problems link you to others.
There are people you will get to know when you face problems. Some of these people will be important links to your future. Friendships are revealed during problematic times. A wise man once said, “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” You will find that some problems may cause some people to exit your life while drawing others into close relationship with you.
You will be compensated according to the problems that you are willing and able to solve.
This is the reality of economics. People will pay you to solve their problems. Lawyers solve legal problems. A mechanic solves your car problems. Doctors solves your health problems. The dry cleaners cares for your laundry. Notice however, they are not each paid equally.
Years ago I learned a valuable lesson—not everyone wants their problems solved.
As strange at that sounds, it is true. There are people who love to remain in the middle of their problems. They love the drama. They feel important when they are being overwhelmed.
A married couple came to me for advice. After investing a year of my time meeting with them both on a weekly basis, I discovered all they wanted was a listener—not a problem solver. They didn’t want to change in order to solve their problems, they wanted to remain in the mess of their choosing and wanted someone to dump their problems onto—and that would be me.
Their problem was not their problem. Not wanting a solution was the problem.
James gives us an incredible promise,
“Consider it a sheer gift, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:2-4 Message)
Learn the art of solving problems so that your family members will want to run to you for advice and guidance in their lives. The very essence of maturity is the wisdom to solve problems.