While listening to a call-in radio talk show, I was amused by the frequent use of psychological terms to describe personal problems. “My husband is codependent with me, but he’s in denial and is also a workaholic,” said one.
I thought then about how this conversation might have been worded before we became such a counseled crowd; maybe something like this: “My husband and I depend on each other a lot, but we’re not worried about it; especially since he demonstrates his love by working hard to be a good provider for our family.”
My first reaction to this imagined and real exchange was a good laugh. Then I faced the fact that problems sometimes persist because we’ve allowed life to become far more complicated than God intended it to be.
A woman once told me that a statement of mine in a sermon had changed their marriage. Perplexed, I asked what I had said that brought about this change. Smiling, she reminded me I had said, “You may be asking if you are getting enough out of your marriage when that is not the question. You should be asking if your husband or wife is getting all he or she should be getting out of your marriage.” This is kindergarten counseling, but my simple statement turned a marriage around, making these two aware that love is more about giving than getting.
“Why are there so many long names in the Bible?” I’m sometimes asked.
“Don’t blame God, I always reply. He started us out with ‘Adam.’” Then I remind my questioner that most of the long tongue twisting names throughout history were given by parents. And there is an important lesson here: God makes solutions simple and people make them complicated.
Our Lord once took a child in His arms and explained the meaning of faith. What could be simpler than the trust of a child in the arms of one who loves him? On another occasion, a religious leader came to Jesus seeking a personal walk with God and eternal life. The answer given to this master of theology was so simple that it has become the most familiar verse in the Bible; the one taught to children and printed on road signs for those who have only a fleeting moment to read and understand: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that, whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
What problems are you facing that may have simple solutions?
Are you often cross? Be kind.
Are you lonely? Visit someone who needs a friend.
Are you a chronic complainer? Count your blessings.
Are you troubled by doubts? Read the Bible, the source of faith.
Do you have questions about God? Go to church and find some answers.
Are there conflicts in your home, at work or your church? Forgive those who are causing them and focus on their strengths rather than their faults. Those who build their lives on faults must continually expect earthquakes.
Try the simple solutions to your problems first. They’re time-tested and free.