God in the Midst of It All:
We can face all sorts of issues at work, church, and in the home. Let’s remember God’s ability and desire to help us. Let’s turn to Him.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Pet. 5:7)
As you trust God, praying and leaning in on Him, ask Him to show you what part you might have in this situation and what you should do about it.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Ps. 139:23-24)
God Each Step of the Way:
The approach taken in a training resource for teachers facing specific discipline issues could be helpful for other kinds of situations as well. For each of the 56 issues covered in this resource, teachers look at the challenge, cause, corrective and circumventive measures. Read on and you’ll see how this approach could apply to other types of issues.
Challenge: What is really happening and what effects is it having?
This is a good starting point. We must be real. We can’t live in denial. Neither should we obsess or exaggerate what is happening. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us “in everything” to present our requests to the Lord. That implies that we get specific with Him.
Cause: What brought on this issue?
We must understand why it has become an issue. However, just as in classroom discipline issues, you can’t merely sit around trying to analyze the situation. You must take action before chaos erupts. Likewise, in other types of issues, you must trust God immediately and take the steps He shows you even if you don’t fully understand.
Corrective Measure: Based on the cause, what steps should be taken?
Understanding the cause is important because we must apply the right solutions. More problems have escalated out of control in the church, home, and workplace because the wrong corrective measures were taken. Why? Though possibly filled with good intentions, people misunderstood or assumed. Ask God to help you understand and give you the wisdom needed for this particular issue in your life. Remember James 1:5.
Circumventive Measure: How might this issue be prevented from becoming a problem?
We must learn from what has happened and better yet, prevent it from happening in the first place. Temporary “fixes” are sometimes necessary but the ultimate is that we take steps to prevent it from happening again. Think of Jesus’ words to the woman caught in adultery. He extended forgiveness but also told her to go and sin no more (Jn. 8:11).
Obviously many issues require more than a straight line or 1-2-3-4 step approach. Application of the verses with which this post began must infiltrate every phase of working through issues. When we trust in Him and acknowledge Him in all our ways, He makes our paths straight.