I recently wrote about the prayer I love and hate to pray. The prayer is, “God, develop me as quickly and as solidly as possible.” One reason I hate it is because if I mean it, then I know God will answer it and I know that it means that I am going to have to deal with issues in my life.
Recently, God answered that prayer once again in my life. The issue: dealing with frustration and avoiding conflict. I have an unhealthy pattern in my life of holding my frustration with others in, becoming bitter and critical of them, and then talking to others about them without ever going to them and expressing my frustration.
Without telling the entire story, I recently “got caught” doing this and was forced to have some very difficult conversations with the person I was frustrated with. If I had learned how to deal with this issue in a healthy way, I would have avoided hurting this person, avoided having to have a difficult conversation, and would not have spent weeks of my life frustrated, bitter, and critical.
I hated the way that I got forced into dealing with the issue (getting caught). I wish I would have handled it in a healthy way from the beginning. However, I am extremely grateful that I got forced into dealing with a destructive pattern in my life.
In other words, I am glad I got caught because I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I did not know how to deal with it, so I kept ignoring it. Ignoring the issue made me miserable and it was holding me back from growth that God wants me to experience.
Because I was forced to deal with this issue, I dealt with it. While it was painful to realize I hurt people and lost trust, in the end, I felt so relieved. I was actually excited because I know God is dealing with this issue in my life so I can be a better person, employee, husband, and friend. I know that as I continue to work on this issue, the relationships I hurt will be restored and I will gain back the trust that I lost.
2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”
I used to think that getting caught or being forced to deal with issues was horrible because, to be honest, I got caught and really did not want to deal with what I had done!
However, I’ve found that as a Christian, if you’re following God and committed to being all that He created you to be, you actually get to a place where you look forward to dealing with the issues in your life because you know when you do, you’ll be more like Him and more of the person you were created to be.
My question for you is: What issues in your life do you just need to throw on table and deal with?
The question isn’t whether or not you’re going to have to deal with the issue. The question, when are you going to deal with the issue? If you deal with it now, you’ll save yourself a lot of pain and frustration.
Andy Stanley said this about dealing with issues: “Do you know what the best way to deal with a 500 pound gorilla in a cage is? You have to swing open the door and face it head on.”
That is how we have to face the issues in our life. So whatever issue you’re struggling with, swing open the door and face it head on. You won’t regret it.
If you’re like me, and struggle with conflict and dealing with your frustration in a healthy way, here is a great message that helped me by Rick Warren, “Learn How to Resolve Conflict and Restore Relationships.” I hope this post added value to your life!
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