Problems! Problems! Problems! They are all around us. A day with no problems is an exceptional day. Every problem affects a person. Now, not all problems are people-to-people problems. If my truck needs repairs, that is a problem between me and my truck. Those kinds of problems can be frustrating. My internet doesn’t work. My computer is broken. I ran out of gas. All of those are exasperating, but those are not the most challenging problems.

I would suggest the most challenging kind of problem is when there are people-to-people problems. At one time my Granddad served as an elder. I remember him saying that he lost more sleep over people who have problems than anything else. Daily  problems can be a challenge, but people-to-people problems are even more exhausting.

When problems exist between parent and child and won’t be reconciled, that is a deep kind of personal misery. Nothing equals the closeness of a parent and child. Nothing hurts more than for a child to have a problem with a parent. Equal to that is when a parent has a problem with a child. I am talking about when interpersonal relationships are broken. No matter how old we get, we still need our parents. No matter how old our parents get, they still need their children.

Also, there can be problems between brethren or close friends. Trust, confidence, and respect have been lost. Feelings have been hurt. Surmising about every little word or thing gives a dark overtone. Sometimes anger has been manifested and can lead to shouting and belittling. Leaving doesn’t solve the problem. It only puts a band-aid over it.

What to do? First, there are some problems that cannot and will not be solved. The only thing to do is accept it, move on, and put it in the hands of the Lord. We won’t be able to solve it.  If there is a score to be settled, let the Lord take care of it. That’s hard, but sometimes that’s all a person can do.

Second, regardless of the action of the other person, I can choose to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving (Eph. 4:32). I can be filled with the fruit of the spirit. I don’t have to become cynical, filled with bitterness, and create strife. When I have done all that is in my power to do, I am at peace with God. I can only control me.

Third, here is the forgotten commandment; take the wrong (1 Cor. 6:7). I may be in the right, but I can bring peace and reconcile by defrauding myself. I can take the wrong. If someone is to be cheated it will be me. “But….” No! No excuses. Take the wrong! Now, if I do that, I cannot become puffed up about having done it.

Fourth, find a wise man (1 Cor. 6:5). The wise man may not be able to solve the problem between the two, but he can help the two understand what they can do to at least be at peace, if possible.

One last thing: it would be a real shame if I let a problem with another person be the reason I was not able to enter the presence of God eternally. Nothing, nothing is worth missing that!

Rickie Jenkins