Try “Spirit Filled Logic” to face these problems as you seek to find peace of mind and heart.
First step is to ask God to help you properly define the problems you are facing. Separate your problems into different boxes; don’t lump them all together. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment about how problems are different and yet how they relate.
For instance, separate problems in your marriage relationship from problems you have parenting your children.
Ponder the problem
- What is the problem?
- Why am I having this problem?
- How is this problem affecting me?
- Who does this problem impact?
- When must the problem be solved?
- How does God look at this problem?
This should help you define the problem clearly, prayerfully and carefully.
Decide to focus on one problem at a time. Don’t try to solve all of them at once.
Examine the emotions
The next step is to ask the Lord to help you name and accept the emotions that come from these problems or that are causing the problem. Attempt to identify the source of the emotions and note the “inner stories” they are telling you.
For instance, if your spouse watches T.V. instead of talking to you, you may tell yourself, “See…he/she doesn’t love me. They care more about watching T.V. than spending time with me.” This may cause feelings of abandonment, rejection, frustration and anger. Ask the Lord to help you admit your emotions and find the root. Also, ask for the ability to feel the emotions, yet not act out in destructive ways based on these emotions.
The third step is to ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom in how to solve the problems you face. Prayerfully and carefully think of all possible solutions and write them down. Which solutions would be most pleasing to God? Which of them makes the most sense? Which are the most biblical? Write these possible solutions in a journal.
For help with this process you can order my book Life Journaling. I provide forms to help with each stage of the problem-solving process. Another book I recommend is Plato, Not Prozac!: Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems by Dr. Lou Marinoff.
Contemplate God’s will
The next step is to seek God’s guidance to decide which possible solution is the one to apply right now to solve your problem. This may be a combination of several solutions you prayed about earlier. Also, list anything that would keep you from applying these solutions consistently in your life.
Once you’ve chosen a solution, commit it to the Lord in prayer.
Execute the plan
Finally, take realistic measures to execute this solution. Be specific and deliberate. Ask the Lord over the next week to help you adjust to the planned solution. Above all, be open to the leading of the Spirit as you move forward.
Now you can see that instead of drowning in problems, you can seek God’s help to solve them one by one.
I call this the P.E.A.C.E. process of problem solving. I got this from Dr. Marinoff’s book and found it quite helpful.
Define the Problem, examine the Emotions, Analyze potential solutions, Contemplate what the will of God is in that situation, then Execute that will (the will of God) practically in your life.
May the Lord help you define and defeat your problems instead of drowning in them from this point on.
Dr. Norman Wise is the Executive Director of Living Water Christian Counseling and host of “Ask the Counselor” on GraceNetRadio.com. Living Water can be reached at 954-726-2303.