Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Facer or Avoider? by Martin Wiles

In life, there are only two types of people: avoiders and facers.

The first two days of each of my college semesters encumbered me with syllabi I would need for the next five months. Within the pages of these mini books were assignments I was responsible for. Among them numerous research papers. How would I accomplish all this by the deadlines? Simple. By ledgering them down according to date from nearest to farthest. And by starting immediately. My first paper was completed long before the due date, but none of them were late. Nor did I find myself hurrying to complete any at the last minute. I was a facer in college. 

When encountering challenging life situations, there are only two directions I can take. Embrace the challenge, or run from it. Joshua—Moses’ successor who led the Israelites into the Promised Land, was a facer because Moses assured him God was with him. So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT)

Occasionally I’m an avoider, but most of the time I’m a facer. Need a problem solved? I’m your man. Need to change something unorganized into an organized marvel, call me. My personality compels me to plunge into problematic situations with both feet. Where the trouble lies is in my tendency to dive in without checking with God first. Doing so either leads to disaster or pride. Neither of which God honors. Joshua was successful because he trusted God to travel ahead of his invading army. 

Problems and challenges don’t vanish when I avoid them. Most of the time, they only increase in size and intensity. Even when confronting them, some aren’t solved instantly. They require a pecking away at like my college writing assignments. But face them I must. When I do so under the leadership of God’s Spirit, they’ll be tackled and conquered courageously, timely, kindly, wisely, and in a God-honoring fashion. 

How are you facing life’s challenging situations?

Prayer: Father, when problems confront us, call to our memory that You are the master problem solver and we are just the instruments in Your hand. 

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