Have you ever heard or felt that clear, concise, laser conviction from the Lord?
I am likely alone in this, but I am very talented at finding the fault in other people. I am not just a star in this dismal game, I may be a superstar. Argh! But it is true. My first instinct in any negative situation is to identify what the other person has done wrong.
I wish I could say that even while I am focusing on the other person’s faults, I hear the Holy Spirit saying, “What about you, Sam?” But sadly, I may be so good at finding fault in others I am temporarily blinded to any fault whatsoever of my own. Here is a typical conversation in my head:
“They are to blame. I am innocent. They are wrong. I am right. The only reason I may have any fault in this at all is because their bad behavior made me act poorly.”
Now, I wish you had some experience in this so you could relate to what I am saying. But perhaps you know someone who does, and you can send this to them. I am sure they need it more than you!
Alcoholics Anonymous has a wonderful saying: “If you have a problem, you are the problem.”
Think about that for a moment. How often has a situation become a problem because you made it one? Oh sure, “they” may have acted in an untoward manner. But you had a choice in that moment, didn’t you? You could react, which typically means you over-react, which typically leads to a problem. This is precisely what God was doing with David. He drew him into a reaction, so he could show him he was the true problem.
Or you could respond to the situation in a measured way, thus avoiding elevating it into a problem. The other person’s behavior may truly be a problem, but you become the problem when you make it about you.
We have a saying at 721 Ministries: “Trouble becomes conflict when I make it about me.”
And we have a not so fun exercise at 721: We give each man a small mirror and ask him to carry it around with him – so he can hold it up to see who the problem is in any situation. Some of the men have carried the mirror around for years. They are typically the ones who cause the least problems in their families. When they are tempted to react with blame towards the other person, they remember the mirror, and God’s words to David: “You are the man!”
There is so much to say about this, but I will close with this. When you are so sure you are right, and the other person is wrong – even if they are indeed wrong – challenge yourself with these ascending mirrors of self-evaluation:
And the ultimate question:
If you want a little more:
I would encourage you to give Jesus your list of the people, or the person who is the problem in your life. Tell him, “If only they would ___________ ,” and you fill in the blank.
Lay it all out for him. All the pertinent facts, the evidence file of what they have done and what kind of a person they are.
He will listen intently. That is what he does so well. Then, after a while, Jesus just might smile and say, “You are the man! You are the woman!”