How To Solve Problems (2)
Second, you must identify the real problem. Sometimes a doctor can cure you, other times they prescribe medication enabling you to live more comfortably with your problem. But first they have to diagnose what’s wrong.
Philosopher Abraham Kaplan makes this distinction between problems and predicaments: ‘A problem is something you can do something about. If you can’t do something about it, then it’s not a problem, it’s a predicament. That means it’s something that must be coped with; something that must be endured. When you treat a predicament as a problem you can become frustrated, angry, and depressed. You waste energy and make bad decisions. Then when all your attempts fail, you give up and see yourself as a victim.’
Here’s an example: if you’re married, perhaps you are a ‘morning person’ and your spouse is a ‘night person’, or vice versa. That’s a predicament. You can’t change it. You can’t change the way people are wired internally. And if you try, you and your spouse will experience lots of conflict and there’ll be no resolution. However, your difficulty in finding ways to spend time together because of your different bents is a problem, and that can be solved.
And here’s another thought: sometimes God will deliver you from a bad situation and other times He will use it to develop your character and make you more like Christ. Yes, He can turn your sigh into a song! David said, ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.’ (Psalm 28:7 NKJV)