How To Solve Problems (3)
Third, you must face the problem. When Nehemiah was threatened by his enemies, some of his friends told him to hide in the temple. But he replied, ‘Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!’ (Nehemiah 6:11 NIV) As a result Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in under two months—an amazing feat.
Years ago a popular American television commercial about addiction and abuse showed a typical family at home. The children were playing, the mother was vacuuming, and the father was reading the newspaper. They could have been a conventional family anywhere, except for one problem: there was a huge elephant in the room with them. Even though they could see it was making life difficult and they had to work around it, they seemed to be ignoring it and pretending it didn’t exist. That ad gave rise to the saying: ‘The elephant in the room.’ It applies to problems we don’t want to deal with, so we pretend they don’t exist.
We typically react to a problem in one of four ways:
(1) Flee it: we try to escape, but the problem always follows us.
(2) Forget it: we hope it will go away if we don’t think about it. But left alone, problems tend to get worse.
(3) Fight it: what we resist persists. And problems are no exception.
(4) Face it: we look at the issue realistically and deal with it. If we’re wise we reach for God’s assistance and ‘boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.”’ (Hebrews 13:6 NKJV)