I get Julia Michaels. I’ve got issues and I’m sure you’ve got them too. From figuring out what we want out of life to choosing what clothes to wear – you are faced with millions of decisions that all have the potential to affect your day. Where do you go to find these solutions? How do you make the right decisions?
I wish there was simply a one-stop-shop for all problems where you would be able to find every solution. I also wish that I could just plaster the ‘Christian’ solution that the Bible has every solution you need. But it’s deeper than that. And as a writer, I wouldn’t be worth your time if I didn’t speak to a deeper issue that arises from this question.
To anyone asking ‘Where do I go to find the solution to my problem?’ I would respond by saying ‘Why is what you’re seeing a problem?’.
You see, in a world that is used to one-dimensional solutions to basic problems, it is harder to discern the true root of some of the issues you might be facing. For example – you can’t see, so you simply turn a light on. If you need to organise something, you simply call your friend. If you want to know how to make the best jollof rice and egusi soup, you simply turn to Google. But that’s not how life actually works. In many ways, a world where so many problems have been solved for us has made us lazy in our expectations and understandings of problem-solving.
You won’t find the solution in a place. You will find solutions within people. There are three categories of people who I would turn to if I have a problem:
Turn to yourself
Before going out into the world and expecting anyone else to solve your problems for you, have a good honest look at your own life. I have found myself living in denial and expecting everyone else to solve problems that I actually had total control over. The greatest example is my finances. I was constantly living in anxiety over not having enough money. In that struggle I would freak out and pray like crazy asking God to bail me out each month, I would also look to people to help me – my parents and even sometimes friends. But the fact is that the problem lay with the fact that I did not take control of my spending. I did not budget, so the money flowed out of my life on every whim and ‘crisis’ that I encountered.
This is when it is helpful to ask that question – ‘why do I have this problem’? You have to get honest with yourself. Because that will catalyse a solution that will be sustainable. Instead of being bailed out each month, I took a finance course and began to intentionally change how I understood and saw money. I dealt with the emotions that I associated with money and let God guide me in understanding His will and plan for my finances.
2. Wise Community
No, this is not your friend Ebo who comments ‘Yasss’ on your Insta posts. I mean real and honouring relationship connections. If you have problems that you cannot solve, I would encourage you to go to people who are wiser than you in that area. Firstly, identify people you admire that have what you want in terms of the solution to your problem. As I shared above – I found people who were financially savvy to help me with my finances.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE – there is not one person who is the solution for everything. If I asked the person who helps me with finance to give me fashion advice, I would look like I worked in the 1980s. In Proverbs, it says that ‘wisdom is found in the counsel of many’. Find the specialists in the area you need to grow in and chase down their expertise. I would also say that they should be people who are living honourably in terms of their faith in God, as there are many worldviews that may seem ‘sensible’ but will lead you completely astray.
Don’t do this if you have not already done step 1 and thought it through yourself. You don’t want to waste someone else’s time. I would suggest when approaching others, there are a few things you should do first:
- Write down and clarify what the problem is. Otherwise, you’ll blubber around, waste everyone’s time and seem like you just want attention. Come with clear questions.
- Honour and respect the person. I already mentioned this with regards to time, but if you are going to see them more than once, you have to DO what they tell you to and bring feedback. It is your responsibility to outwork whatever wisdom you receive.
- Repeat whatever they advise back to them – this way there is no room for misunderstandings… they hear that you have actually listened to them.
Yes. God is SOMEONE you turn to. He is deeply interested in your life and your wellbeing. He doesn’t want you to live in anxiety. He wants you to live well and be an example to others in every area of life. So pray about your problems. And be willing to do whatever the Bible says regarding your situation. There are very clear directives in the word – some are very clear (sex before marriage, tithing, fasting, worship) and others take deep study and prayer (true freedom, worldview and relationships). But in the end, it is the PERSON of God who will make these things relevant to you in your situation. The only thing I would advise is that if you turn to God, you are going to have to be willing to OBEY what He instructs.
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