Sometimes we get placed in no-win situations. You want to go to church but know your kids will throw a fit and sin when you wake them up early. Or you can’t pay for both credit card balances that month. Or it’s 3 AM and you need cough medicine, but the only place that’s open is Walmart.
When talking about wisdom, the word from Proverbs 2:9 that I’d like to focus on is “path.”
Proverbs 2:9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair — every good path.
Sometimes when we are unwise we go down a path that eliminates good options until there are no good options left. If you played the wrong type of defense for the whole football game and are down 45-0 with two minutes to play, it doesn’t matter how wise you are from here on out, you are in a no-win situation.
If you don’t raise your children to respect their mom, then you set yourself up for a bunch of no-win situations every day, every five minutes, where the kid is angry, the mom is upset, and you’re yelling.
A no-win situation could really be any situation where you feel like you keep losing. Situations like where you’re always in arguments with your spouse or family, or where you are always upset or stressed out, or where you always seem to sin.
So what do we do?
1. First we have to identify the areas of life where we keep running into no-win situations.
2. Then we have to pray for wisdom so we can analyze the situation. What have we done, or not done, to help cause this? What sins do the other parties have that contribute to this?
3. And then we have to change the situation, ourselves and them.
Just like in football, figure out (1) how the other team keeps scoring (the situation), (2) what do you need to do different, what do you teammates need to do different? And (3) then put it into practice. For example, if you’re constantly in fights with your spouse then…
1. Identify the cause of the situation (Is it finances? Is it lack of self-control, Is it lack of discipline?)
2. Pray for wisdom to figure out:
- What have you done over the years to create this situation?
- How can you minister to your spouse to help them grow so this situation arises less?
3. Change situation, ourselves and them:
- Situation: Do something about the situation. For example, if it’s finances, then come up with a plan to get out of debt.
- Hearts: Change our heart, and minister to their hearts, and change the relationship dynamic. (maybe we have to become more patient and gentle with them, etc.).
A lot of these no-win situations arise because people are who they are, and we can’t change’s hearts people overnight. It takes time. And sometimes our influence over them isn’t all that great, so it’ll take even longer. So, you have to think long term. You have to think beyond the moment.
We may not be able to solve it by sitting everyone down and jamming our thoughts down their throats. We don’t have those magical words that will change them. We can’t change people’s hearts that way. But even though these things take time, we have to realize that we still have a role to play. Have them know you’re on the same team with them, but that the situation needs to change, you need to change, and they need to change… …so that you can start winning again.
Proverbs 2:12-3:6 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it. My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness.