Who Is The Problem?

Cheryl and I were out of town recently and visited a local farmer’s market. I was eying the homemade, organic cookie booth while Cheryl looked for healthier options like tomatoes. I also used the time as a people-watching opportunity. (Almost better than cookies…not chocolate chip mind you, but certainly some cookies.)

Anyway, I couldn’t help but pick up on the argument taking place next to me. There was a lady trying to buy some potatoes. The seller couldn’t get the quantity to meet her expectations. It was either too heavy or too light. He was trying to cheat her. Nothing was fair at this booth, in her opinion. There wasn’t really fifty cents difference, but you would have thought it was fifty dollars based on her reaction. She became mad. After a few minutes, she kept her money, left the potatoes, and kept walking. I couldn’t believe how irate she became over potatoes.

I decided to follow for a few minutes…just curious what she would do.

I know, sounds weird, but I was chasing a theory.

Sure enough, just as I suspected, everywhere she went there was a problem. No one treated her fairly, in her opinion. At each booth there was a problem, and the problem was the person at the booth…again…in her opinion.

My theory…which I believe she helped prove:

If you seem to have a problem with everyone, the problem could be you.

By the way, that’s true for all of us. Sometimes when we complain, pitch a fit, lose our patience, kick the dirt up…

Whatever your phrase…

No one likes us. No one treats us fairly. Everyone….you know…finish the sentence…

Sometime the problem isn’t everyone else. Sometimes the problem is us.

Recognizing when that is true and admitting it, seeking help if there’s a root problem rather than blaming others continually…that is a sign we are growing in maturity.

Can you admit when the problem is you?

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9 thoughts on “Who Is The Problem?

  1. True Ron! Whenever you point your finger at someone, it is important to remember that three fingers gets pointed towards you. That is why in Matthew 7:3-4 Jesus questions "“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?"

  2. I'm wired precisely the opposite way. For me, the problem is always I. Because even if I have a problem with somebody else, in the end it is I who put myself in a position where I must deal with this person in the first place.

    For instance, if my roommate annoys me, it is I who hasn't figured out how to make enough money so I can live by myself. If a difficult customer gets on my nerves, it is I who chose to work at a place where I am faced with such people. Etc.

  3. Reminds me of the old story about the man who was taking a snooze and some of the kids decided to put Limburger cheese under his nose. Everywhere he went was that awful smell. Sad that so many get caught in this trap (pastors included) and it is everyone else's problem not theirs. I used to have a problem admitting the problem was me. I was arrogant and right. then God changed all of that and now it is not so hard. 🙂