Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Problem Is In You, Yet So Also Is the Solution In You


THE above sentence is incomplete. It needs to finish with, “By God’s grace alone, by your faith, alone.”
“The problem is in you.”
These words the Holy Spirit uttered silently within the fissures of my spirit. I had been battling something quite pervasive until that moment, though the preceding moments were buoyed by the realisation — “I am, again, depressed.” I entered a moment of self-pity, for I didn’t like such a realisation. But the realisation was a key to unlocking me from a cage I’d long resented. I said these words to my wife, and she just threw her arms around me, saying not one thing. I had, for some time, been levelling all sorts of accusation against others in my midst. They had the problem. If only they would get out of my way. If only they would allow me to use my gifts.
They were not the problem!
“The problem is in you.”
Every problem emanates from with me. My attributions of issues was, and is, so often clouded by my own brokenness and need of valuing. The world does not run around me. I am an actor. And so are you.
***
There is a massive, even a colossal, paradox in this most golden of Christian truths:
At Your End Is God’s Beginning, By Grace, Through Faith
We cannot partake of God’s grace unless we need it. If we are still so full of ourselves — and our own righteousness — we have precious little real need of God. The Lord can only help the weak person; the person, who, by their truth, requires saving. Salvation takes on a momentary significance. The need of salvation, in the moment, becomes the need of God and of his grace, which is only available by faith. Salvation is more a matter of discipleship — of following the Lord Jesus — than it is about accepting the Lord once-and-for-all into our lives.
“The problem is in you.”
When we know the problem persists through our whole life, for the remainder of our whole life, we have a choice. We resign ourselves to the idea that being hard on ourselves means we are easy on others, and, therefore, we are on the path to maturity — so as to be presented as mature in every good way.
When we are mature, then we are embodied by joy and peace and hope, no matter our circumstances. The key is adopting this incarnational stance:
“The problem is in you.”
The problem is not in the other person so long as the viewpoint pertains to us.
The problem is in me. That truth takes me to the end of me. That truth takes me to the beginning of grace. That truth takes me to the only channel such a journey can take place through — abiding in God’s grace, through faith.
So, the simplest, most direct, way to abiding peace, hope and joy is to understand that the problem is in us — not the other person or our situation.
When we comprehend that the problem is in us, we also comprehend the solution: the grace of God through Holy Spirit, who is also in us.
“The problem is in you — sin. Yet, so is the solution — God’s grace.”
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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