B. Keith Chapman, President & CEO
We are now a month into the new year. The excitement of all the holiday celebrations is likely starting to fade. The routine of life is settling back in and we are beginning to test our commitment to our goals and objectives for the year. For some, the level of commitment is still strong. Others have slipped back into the mindset and routine of the previous year. Your mind remains the battlefield in which the fight for motivation occurs daily. Our feelings about our accomplishments are directly proportional to how we respond to problems encountered along our journey. Have you already encountered problems that are affecting your ability to remain committed to your goals and purpose?
Regardless of how talented you are or how committed to success you may be, problems and obstacles occur regularly. Some problems are self-inflicted, while others naturally occur as we navigate life. Either way, we are presented with a choice on how to handle them. Our strategy to address these problems will determine what effect they will have on our ability to succeed. If problems are inevitable, we will all benefit from having a plan to deal with them. An effective plan will help reduce stress, frustration, and shorten the duration of the problem. Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Einstein recognized that our mind is a powerful tool in problem-solving. However, if not careful, our mind can also lead us down a path of wrong decisions that could make matters worse.
The Bible is filled with truths, that when applied, create a game plan for dealing with problems and keeping our mind focused on positive things. Proverbs 18:15 says, “Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.” Notice it says “always ready to learn.” Even in times of trouble, our ability to listen and learn will help us get through. Proverbs 18:13 says, “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” This is a big one! We are programmed to respond with emotion at the first bit of information we receive. I think all would agree that not all information we receive is factual. We must always be careful not to make decisions based purely on emotion. These basic principles of self-control help establish a healthy mindset that will assist with problem-solving.
So, what else can we do to help us make good decisions and problem solve? Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, “Trust the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” First, we must trust in the Lord and not just depend on our own skills, abilities, and thinking. It’s easier said than done, especially when we are in a big mess. However, we should remember that we have access to the ultimate Problem Solver. Second, we must seek God’s will always, not just in the times when we may need help, but even when things are going well. Once we have done these things, the right solution and decisions will become clear. This is a valuable and proven formula that we can all benefit from applying daily.
Challenge: Always be willing to listen and learn. Get the facts before reacting or making a decision. Trust in the Lord. Don’t just depend on your own abilities and knowledge. Always seek God’s will for your life.
Published: February 1, 2020