Getting to The Bottom of Our Problems

June 9, 2020

Getting to The Bottom of Our Problems

By Russell George

Before we can get on top of our problems, we need to get to the bottom of them and start there. We need to find the cause of our problems and deal with that. Many in our day aren’t thinking right. A superficial solution may modify the problem a little, but it doesn’t stop it. Many try to get on top of problems instead of going to the bottom of them and fixing them.

Our nation is facing some serious problems. Rioters are looting and burning businesses in sections of our cities. Homeless people are living in tents on the sidewalks of residential areas. Many think that the only way to stop the rioters is with a police force that is big enough and strong enough. Yes, that is necessary, but what is the cause of the problem? How do those people justify their behavior? Who is putting them up to what they are doing? Who is paying them to do it? How can we help those pathetic people think right and stop doing what they are doing? The problem is in the minds of men and we won’t solve the problem until we get them thinking right.

Our schools are failing to educate children. Many children are spending a dozen years in school and still they haven’t learned the basic skills of reading, writing, and math. Why? Isn’t it because they have no desire to learn? Fun and games is all they care about. Teachers haven’t done their job just by teaching the classes. Children won’t be educated unless we motivate them to want to learn. They need to see that their future depends on learning. Teachers need to be motivators before they can be teachers.

In great part, the problems we are facing today are because we aren’t looking to God for help. Christians have the solution to many of the world’s problems. Many of the problems we are facing are behavior problems. Force can be used to stop bad behavior, but it really doesn’t solve the problem. They say, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Putting a criminal in prison will stop him from doing violence in society, but the problem isn’t really solved until we have changed the hearts of criminals. Not enough effort is being made to change the hearts of prisoners.

Our problems keep on getting worse because people aren’t thinking right. Proud, arrogant people take offense if someone tries to help them see the error in their way of thinking. They attack the one who tries to help them with words of ridicule. Our politicians are attacking one another, on the news medias, with words of ridicule. If things go on this way, in the not too distant future, they may start attacking one another in the streets with knives and guns. That will lead to civil war. If someone tries to correct someone of the same skin color, he is slandered as a hate monger. If he tries to help someone of a different skin color, he is called a racist.

It is difficult to know how to help people. We as Christians need to pray that God will give us much wisdom to know how to help people whose minds are so twisted that they don’t know how desperately they need help. Many have no respect for God or his Word. They don’t know how to think. They can’t be helped unless someone can win their confidence and convince them that they need to learn how to think right.

Here is something to illustrate the fact that there is a right and wrong way to solve behavior problems. Let’s suppose that you have a neighbor whose name is Joe. He and his family just moved into the house next door to you a little over six months ago. After they moved in, you and your wife went over to get acquainted with them and offer to help them if you can in any way. A few times you had a short conversation when you happened to meet. One Sunday morning you invited him over to your house for coffee and you talked for a while. Once he mowed your lawn for you when you were sick.

One day you got word that Joe was in jail because one night he went downtown and broke into a store and stole some things. The police arrested him when he was carrying the things out to his car.

You were disgusted with Joe for doing a thing like that. You decided to go down to the jail and have a talk with Joe. The jailer took you to the cell he was in and you began to cuss him. You called him a dirty bastard and went on to use more words that were even more indecent. As you walked out you said to yourself, “I sure told him a thing or two.” Did you help Joe? Did you convince him that he should never again do what he had done? No. All you did was make him angry with you.

Jerry and his family live on the other side of Joe’s house. Jerry and his family are Christians. After Joe and his family moved in, Jerry and his wife took a bouquet of flowers over to Joe’s house. They welcomed them and invited them to come to their church. About two weeks later they invited Joe and his family over for a meal. Jerry’s wife and Joe’s wife became close friends.

When Jerry and his wife heard where Joe was, they went over to console Joe’s wife. Jerry decided that he too should go to the jail and talk to Joe. He took a candy bar and a pack of gum for Joe. He greeted him with a smile and said, “I’m sure sorry to hear what happened. Don’t worry about your lawn. I’ll mow it for you.” Jerry went on talking. He told Joe that he loved him and wanted to help him any way he could. He had his Bible under his arm. He pulled two tracts out of it and gave them to Joe. Then he read some Scripture with him. He assured Joe that he would be praying for him and left.

The next week Jerry went back to visit Joe again. They talked for a while. Before he left, he said, “By the way, they are taking up an offering to enable the store owner to replace the merchandise that was stolen and replace the door that was beyond repair.” He said, “I put $10.00 in the offering.” Again, before he left, he assured Joe that he was praying for him.

After Jerry left, Joe sat down on his bed and burst into tears. He was ashamed of what he had done. He said to himself, “I hope I never do anything like that again.” Which one helped Joe? Was it you or Jerry? The answer is obvious. One would hope that the story ends with Joe and his family going to Jerry’s church. Also that they accepted Christ as their Savior and experienced what it says in II Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Then they began to add the fruit of the Spirit to their lives. They are listed for us in Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” We might also add that Joe saw the need of going to the store owner and asking forgiveness for what he had done. As a result, the store owner was so moved that he and his family also started attending Joe and Jerry’s church. That’s getting to the bottom of a problem.

Christians in the right relationship with God are never a menace to society. To the contrary, they are an asset. They know how to think right. We need more of them. Are you one? If not, you can be by humbling yourself and asking God to forgive you of your sins and make you a child of his.

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