THIS is my last article on this topic and so I would like to suggest a number of ways to handle challenges. All of us have a capacity as people to respond to challenges in a mature manner and promote, therefore, peace in our communities.
- Overlook offenses. (Proverbs 19:11). Sometimes it pays well to overlook or ignore an offense. There are many offenses around you and if you will be so sensitive to them all, I can assure you that you will mess yourself. It is maturity to overlook some of these. It pays to remain silent at times in the face of provocation.Do not hit back. As I said, this is a sign of maturity and shows you desire peace. Try your best to live in peace with others.
- Learn to say sorry. Sometimes there is need to say sorry even if you know you are not wrong. The unwillingness by many to say sorry has cost them a lot in this life. Some have divorced while others have killed or are in prison because they were too proud to say “sorry”. Humility is the mark of maturity and it serves us a lot of unnecessary trouble in life.
- Confess wrong doing. It does not cost you anything to confess and accept you did something wrong. Do not try and play Mr. Right where you are wrong. The best thing is to accept it and try and fix the situation from a point of truth. This helps even more where there are disputes in relationships.I know that in human culture accepting wrong doing could be interpreted as weakness, and yet, it is the best and fastest way of solving an issue.
Men, if you have done something stupid that hurts your wife or family, it saves you so much to accept it than getting stubborn and deny it. Many of us men suffer from this weakness.
- Learn to forgive. Forgiveness is a healer to you the offended. Forgive those who wrong you. It benefits you and not them. The Bible teaches that if you do not forgive those who trespass against you, God will not forgive your own trespasses.It does not help you to hold or keep grudges against people.
To move on you must let go. Unforgiveness hinders you and not the other person. If you do not forgive, you device evil against the other person and perpetuate the problem. Forgiveness settles the mater once and for all.
It is disheartening to not that in our human culture unforgiveness is passed from one generation to another. Many people are engaged in fun wars they really do not even understand and just because they were told to hate so and so. Look at how this kind of “inheritance” has cost Africa in terms of ethnic wars. To handle any challenge in your life chose to forgive. Any response to your challenges is a choice.
- Do not be idle when going through some hard times. The enemy takes advantage of an idle mind. An idle mind thinks sorrow and defeat and this is the diet of the devil.In your “valley” stay vigilant and pre occupy yourself with something meaningful. It does not matter what the issue is, try to be above its pressure on your mindset.
Think of what you like doing and begin to do it. Many people seek too much sympathy whenever they are going through issues and become too negative about their situation. This becomes a trap. Your desire should be to overcome and do it sooner rather than later.
- Keep good company. It is important who you talk to, walk with and spend time with when you are faced with challenges. Some people will keep you longer in your challenge while others will see you out of it faster that you anticipated.Do not stick to people who exaggerate your situation and who mourn more than you about your situation.
Look for people who encourage and give you hope. One reason why many people lose it is the people around them. So take care.
- Avoid a solo run through your challenges. It is deception to think that you will keep your issues to yourself and go it alone.The enemy likes lonely people in the valley and likes also those who despise fellowship. This is one reason why many commit suicide or kill others.
A problem shared becomes an easy burden to carry. Get out of that deception and look for somebody you trust and share your issues.
- Pray. (James 5:13). This is the most effective way of responding to problems. This is you praying and not your prophet praying for you.The response to any suffering is your prayer. Many people these days delegate this response and duty to others. My prayer for you compliments yours in that situation. Get up and pray.
Victory is all yours in that situation.
Kilton Moyo is a pastor, guidance and counselling consultant and author of Responding to Personal Crisis. Call or WhatsApp on +263 775 337 207/ 0712 384 841.