Take a moment to think deeply about the greatest problems you are facing currently. Spend some time analyzing them – contemplating when they originated and how they made the transition from something relatively manageable to the overwhelming attention they now command in your life.
Now think about this concept in relationship to these problems – whether they be financial, relational, medical, vocational, or intrapersonal: The biggest problem you will ever face is YOU.
“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you suffer a lot. When you realize everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” – Dalai Lama
You have a role in the relationship, the decisions you make and the words you choose to speak. The actions you ultimately decide to take will alter it in a way that moves it in the direction you desire.
If you don’t like your appearance or how you’ve been feeling physically or mentally, you can do something about that. If the job isn’t satisfying anymore, you are the only one who can address the concern or choose to move on to something better. If the finances are strained, you can decide to be more pragmatic with your budget or choose to look for ways to enhance them and take action to improve them.
How often do we avoid taking personal responsibility – failing to hold ourselves accountable for problems we encounter? Would they change if we saw ourselves at the very center of them?
Now, let’s go a little deeper.
Let’s say these enormous problems you face have nothing to do with you. Let’s say they are outside of your control or capability to remedy. Maybe it’s a terminal illness, the aftermath of an accident that wasn’t your fault or the evil another person has inflicted upon you.
If you have identified one of your greatest problems as uncontrollable, irreversible, or beyond your limits to change my friend, is a large part of the problem how you SEE the problem? In other words, is the problem still centered around YOU – the power you give to it, how you choose to view it, and actions you decide to take as a result – even if those actions cannot realistically change the outcome?
Sadly, when I contemplate the problems within my own life, I see how many of them could have been avoided by looking hard at my own actions FIRST – taking personal responsibility for what happened and what choices I made moving forward as they unfolded.
I also see how many problems I encountered by simply enabling them through my own thoughts. That uncontrollable event was given more influence over my life because I mentally gave it the power to do so. How I chose to embrace it gave it more significance than it deserved. I let it dominate me instead of choosing to see it differently.
My biggest problems have really been created, enhanced, and determined by me alone. Even those I didn’t initially instigate I perpetuated and enlarged by how I chose to see them.
How about you? Are you at the center of the biggest problem you face right now?
When we begin to realize we are at the heart of all our issues, we see the need to humbly submit our way to God in all we do – letting His principles for living drive our decisions and actions.
When I think about it, my life would have turned out so different had I chose to humbly see myself as the true source of all my problems and surrendered my actions and choices to God and His ways.
“In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” – Psalm 10: 4 NIV
In all those uncontrollable situations and circumstances that happen outside of our ability to fix, those problems we have no ownership in at all that surface within our lives – we need to embrace the sovereignty of God as we shape our thoughts surrounding them.
“I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.” – Isaiah 45:7 NLT
God is in control of all the problems we face that are outside of our control. They are in His loving, omniscient hands. When we embrace this principle, how we SEE the problem changes. The larger we see our God, the smaller our problems become. We begin to see how God has deeper purposes in those problems that are beyond our remedy.
I pray each of us begin to see ourselves at the very center of the biggest problems we face – driven by our own actions, by our failure to act, and by how we choose to view and interpret them in our minds.
By seeing this, my hope is we surrender our actions to God’s ways and His principles for living – obeying Him and leaving the consequence of those actions in His Hands.
I pray that we stop perpetuating those uncontrollable, unforeseen problems that arise by seeing them in the context of a sovereign Lord – trusting His purposes and plans within them.