Personal Development 

The Problem is NOT the Problem


The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand? ~ Jack Sparrow, Pirate.

It is one of those humorous lines that make up the character of Jack Sparrow in the blockbuster hit Pirates of the Caribbean, but the truth of it is profound when you think about it.

Our problems in life – whether we bring them upon ourselves or someone else does – are the lessons of life where we demonstrate our emotional or spiritual maturity, and ultimately our true character.  And, as far as grades go, when it comes to the rubber meeting the road in the execution of addressing/confronting our problems, we either pass or fail. There is no in between grade. 

Jack Sparrow Wisdom 4Let’s unpack this…

While we can fake it in some stuff, and pretty much convince people around us that we are emotionally or spiritually mature, seldom if ever can we fake it when we are faced with a situation (“the problem”) that we feel threaten by, misunderstood, angered over, insecure in or unjustly persecuted.

The litmus test is pretty simple. How do you respond to “the problems” in your life?

How you respond to problems in our life reflects your maturity, character, and integrity as an individual. There is just no getting around it. How you respond to the problems in your life will always expose your true nature to those around you and to the world by how you address the problems or adversity in and around your life.  It’s just this simple. It’s a pass or fail test that is hard to fake. Yes, some people live behind such a mask, that they can sometimes hide what they really think or feel about something, and do a pretty good job at pretending Our true character will always come out, and the truth of who we really are at our core will be evident. What is your attitude about the problems that come in your life?

When problems come your way – problems like conflict, insults, attacks on your character, arguments, disagreement, or even persecution, what is your default setting in those times. Here are two questions to ask yourself as a way of self-assessment.

Do you choose to REact out of self interest, insecurity, resentment or anger, and go on the attack when something or someone threatens you or your life?

OR, do you choose to ACT out of Love, demonstrating joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

How did you do? For most of us, at least if we are honest about our true feelings, we have a great temptation to want to tear people’s heads off in the face of adversity brought about as a result of someone’s inconsiderate actions or hatred towards us. Yet, it is a sure sign of a renewed heart where we ACT towards people the way we would desire to be treated, versus REacting in ways that reflect an unregenerate heart or carnally driven mindset.

As Jack Sparrow says, “the problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.” It’s all about attitude.

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