By AYANNA CLARKE
Although I am so much like I was last year and the year before, many things about me are no longer the same. Psalm 84 motivates me to go from strength to strength until I appear before God. Hopefully you see yourself growing the same way.
Today we want to look at what is alike but not the same about solutions vs resolutions. I have always appreciated the ability to think under pressure, solving issues creatively and quickly. But nowadays I’m using more energy to resolve rather than solve.
What is the difference?
Solving a problem means that you’ve simply attended to the matter at hand.
Resolving a problem means that you are now able to explain the situation in its entirety, reason out causes and effects, and critically plan ahead so the matter is not repeated, in some form or the other.
Here’s an example. You have an event coming up. You want to present yourself in a certain way.
Solution – go on a diet, lose a few pounds, fit into the dress.
Resolution – change your eating habits, adopt a healthy lifestyle and you always look and feel great, not just for one event.
I will always celebrate the divine ability to come up with quick solutions but I believe the goal of achieving resolutions on all accounts, truly leads to a better way of life.
In looking at resolutions vs solutions, with Psalm 84’s focus on growing from one level of strength to another, I must warn you not to do what I did.
Here’s what I mean. In my immediate family, a household of women, each of us have been given lifelong titles: One sister was the ‘handyman’; another ‘Miss Fixit’, and me – ‘the strong one’.
Let me say from the start, I hate being described as strong. Perhaps because my strength always came from protecting myself. When I think about it, for all my hardships – meagre resources, rejection, church hurt, my mother’s passing, and more church hurt – being strong was my go-to solution.
2 Timothy gave me the right to protect the truth of faith and love that I carry. I carried this thought over into having the right to defend myself from any onslaught of negativity. So I built a wall – a firm and foreboding resolve not to trust anyone.
Like some of you, I found myself connecting with people who really only saw me as a means to their particular end. I had very few good friends and even fewer real friends. My solution: lock myself away as much as possible. Those who know me will tell you, I keep to myself and make very few appearances. While it did shelter me from harm, it almost caused me to lose any offering of sincere help.
Thankfully, and just in time, I figured out how to manage my solution of strength with a new and stronger resolution...sort of like putting some gates in my wall. Now I’ve resolved the issue by choosing very carefully who I keep in my personal space. I reserve myself for those with whom I can partner – same mindset, same goals, et cetera.
I traded the strength that hides me away from everything by resolving to use continual wisdom in granting specific access on levels of business, ministry, and friendship. And you can too.
This resolve doesn’t hide you away anymore, instead you become a resolute gatekeeper, preserving your peace of mind and emotional well-being. Imagine the strength that comes from resolving to be safe in being yourself. So our resolution is to block harm but allow help by granting access only to the truly worthy. Put some gates in your wall. Happy building and God bless you this week!