You can't fix other people

September 23, 2019

 

In his book, Twelve Rules for Life, Dr. Jordan Peterson lays out principles for having a more fruitful life.  As a practicing clinical psychologist for over 30 years, Dr. Peterson draws from both professional and personal experience.  One of his rules is, "Set your own house in order before you criticize the world".  This is to say that the problem with your life is not someone else.  Your problems are not the product of the government, or your boss, or your parents or spouse .. or your COACH!  Dr. Peterson posits the source of your problems reside within you.  There is nothing more discouraging than trying to better your situation and giving the power to your personal success over to someone else.  Even worse is the defeatist position where you ignore your own control of the situation and focus on solving problems outside of your control.

 

On the field of play, we don't allow the words "I can't" to be uttered because this is a personal admission you have no control over your situation. We might tell a player to block the bigger, faster, stronger opponent.  His response should never be "I can't" or "Put someone else in" because in the first response the player is conceding defeat and in the second he is trying to have someone else solve it.  There may well be something mentally wrong with the coach who asking you to block the giant but that is not under your control.  Trying to change the coach's mindset should not be the first thought.  The player should look inward and ask themselves what is under my control to achieve the goal of making the impossible, possible.  

 

The same is true when we try to correct the injustices in our world.  This is not to say we should not look to better our communities and neighbors.  Instead, it is to suggest we must first look inward to insure we are doing all that we can to better ourselves before we venture out to tell others how they should act.  We should always be acting for the greater good but be ever mindful that growth in others is through God and not through us.  

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

1 Corinthians 3:5-7

 

Paul is pointing out how he and Apollos planted the seeds of spiritual growth but in the end it was God who prospered what was sewn.  Paul controlled what he could control and looked inwardly to control what he could control while understanding that God ultimately has authority over the situation.  

 

Success stems from initially looking inward when solving our problems. We should commit ourselves to being over-comers and not finger pointers. We need to recognize the best way to fix others is to focus on fixing ourselves. Finally, the sooner we recognize prosperity in our lives coincides with trusting God the sooner we will have greater command of our destiny.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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