“Good grief, stop with the victim worldview!”
That’s what I wanted to say to my colleague who busted out a long litany of problems heaped on him.
I probably should have been that blunt, but I wasn’t. I did encourage him to consider the problems from a different perspective.
“No problem, no pay.” My dad taught me this. You get paid in this world for solving problems. If you were paid for your time you could sit at home, watch sitcom reruns, and they’d send you a check.
Problems create environments where we have to learn, improve, grow. The fact that problems exist which need to be solved becomes part of what drives our larger purpose.
We should value problems because they remind us that this is not utopia (which means “no where”).
Problems create opportunities for relationships. Problems we can’t solve on our own draw us into fellowship with one another and greater recognition of our true dependence on God.
Problems showcase how much we should be grateful.
Wallowing in our problems never helps us. “Oh poor, pitiful me.” Excuses. Flee into distraction. Change the subject. Self-medicate your “pain” with food, alcohol, bad TV. Choose to “kick the can down the road” and deal with it another day. (Hard truth — That “can” is more like a grizzly bear cub; it grows up and gets nastier.) I’ve never seen a problem solved by whining about it, or crying.
Our true challenge is not that we have problems to solve, but we become overwhelmed trying to solve them all simultaneously. The key behavior is to focus your energy on solving one problem at a time. Pick one. Then follow-through with some persistence to make genuine progress towards solving that one.