Problem Solving and Faith

Everyone has problems and they are always happy to share. Christians, being people, are no different.

The primary difference between Christians talking about their problems and other people is that Christians will end their whine session with a short, out of context verse that makes both sides smile and say “have a nice day.”

“All things work together for good,” wink-wink, nod-nod.
“Sufficient to the day is the trouble thereof,” wink-wink, nod-nod.
“This too shall pass,” wink-wink, nod-nod.

It is my observation, both in watching myself and others, that people with serious problems that they seriously desire to be solved, will not talk about it much. They will ask or tell you the problem, but people who are deeply troubled will be quiet and listen.

Our society is geared for talking about problems. Kids sit in circles and share their feelings in Guidance Class. Adults go to therapy, group sessions, tribal yelling, coffee houses or prayer groups.

All this talking. Whining. Moaning. Groaning.

People with serious problems that they want solved get quiet and listen. Then they do what they were told.

Don’t get me wrong, the whining, moaning, groaning people want their problem solved too, they just want someone else to do it in a pain-free way for them.

This is not a reasonable request, they know it, which is why they still have the problem they are now whining to you about.

People who want their problem solved will be still and know God. They will sit before the Word. They will ask experienced elders about it and then listen. They won’t pop off excuses, they won’t whine about how hard it will be and how “I would but . . .”  They will listen and then apply.

Faith comes by an individual hearing. Never once has faith arrived by talking instead. Someone has to say the truth, this is true, but the one with the problem needs to hear. You can’t hear if you’re talking. It won’t happen. It can’t.

If you have a problem, this is your answer, every time. Please hear it.

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2 comments

  1. Paul Walton

    Jeff, another thing I have noticed is that Christians will say they are casting their burdens on to the Lord. In our home group, folks will ask for prayer about a situation, they say they are giving it to the Lord. But it’s as if we lay our problem on the altar, and if God doesn’t fix it in a week we pick it back up again, and stop trusting Christ to move in our behalf. We stop trusting Christ, and that reveals a lack of faith. And without faith it is impossible to please Christ. Around and around we go.

  2. Frank Zimmerman

    Amen, this distinction really helps. I greatly appreciate many of the posts on this blog as they challenge the traditions and customs that come to be accepted as “normal christianity” but are not. The religion of Jesus was radically different than what was considered normal in His day. I feel a great urgency to get back to that primitive faith.

    One thing that someone told me once was also a help. He said, “Christians bring problems, not solutions, to God. Christians do God’s work in God’s way. Babylonians, on the other hand, bring solutions to God: they try to build God’s kingdom by man’s way.” Wasn’t it the priests of Baal that prayed, danced, moaned and shrieked to get God to answer their prayer?…but no answer came. Elijah made a short faith-filled request, along with some faith-filled preparation, and the answer came.