Have you ever tried to be the answer to someone’s problems? You want to be their solution; you want to provide the counsel that helps them solve their dilemma; you want to be the one they come to in difficult situations. You desire to help someone in order to prove your worth to them. They may not demand proof of your worth, but you demand it of yourself so you run. You run hard after that pursuit to make yourself seem knowledgeable, wise or someone with all the answers.
Have you been there?
The root desire as to why we try to solve everyone else’s problems vary from person to person. Here are a few reasons that cause us to want to be the answer for others. See which one resonates with you:
- Desire for praise
- Desire for approval
- A need to prove your worth
- A lack of trust in Jesus
Attempting to solve everyone else’s issues almost always ends badly – both for the person seeking help and for you and me trying to provide the help.
Here’s what I’ve learned about trying to be someone’s answer: Kate Hollimon makes a bad Jesus.
It’s a dangerous place to tread when you want to be others’ rescuer because there is only one Rescuer who is wise, good and loving. And His name is Jesus.
Jesus provides more than just an answer to a problem. He brings comfort, peace, sanctification (the process of looking more like Jesus), maturity, growth, wisdom, patience, self-control and eternal life. He is good and He is wise.
Scripture speaks to our Triune God’s wisdom in Isaiah 55:8-9:
“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”
Jesus can be trusted and He is a wise counselor. In fact, He’s the wisest of all. In foretelling about the birth of Jesus, Isaiah calls Jesus a “wonderful counselor.” (See Isaiah 9:6). The word “wonderful” could also be translated as “exceptional” or “distinguished.” These adjectives place an even greater emphasis as to the type of counselor Jesus is. Who doesn’t want a “distinguished” or “exceptional” individual providing wise guidance for them?! I know I want that!
Being a wonderful counselor is inherent in Jesus’ nature; it’s who he is. You and I aren’t always wonderful in our motives or actions nor do we always provide the wisest counsel. Why not leave that responsibility to the individual who was meant to carry it and provide it? This is truly a freeing place to live. When you stop taking on the responsibility of trying to provide the answer for everyone, it’s removes all the pressure that you placed on yourself.
So, how do we do this? How do we stop trying to solve everyone else’s problems? Point people to Jesus.
You do this by encouraging the other person to pray to Jesus and seek His counsel on an issue. Share a relevant Scripture with the person encouraging them to memorize that Scripture and meditate on it, therefore letting God’s Word speak to them instead of your counsel. Finally, pray for the person.
Then, pray for yourself – that you would take a backseat to the work the Holy Spirit wants to do in the heart of that person. Resist the urge to constantly check in with the person in order to give them more advice. Give them time and give yourself time. Typically, God doesn’t work on our immediate time tables and it’s often in the patient waiting that God wants to reshape our hearts to look more like His.
It is possible to let go of this responsibility and change this habit. It will be hard and you’ll feel like you’re losing control and authority in someone’s life. But friend, that’s exactly what needs to happen. Point others to the ultimate Rescuer who will never fail them. And then rejoice in the beauty of simply being a vessel for Jesus to work through instead of being someone’s bad answer.