When I was in high school, every day I sat with a girlfriend who always finished her lunch off with Reese Cups. I would watch her ritual of poking out the middle, eating it, and then savoring the dense chocolate ridges.
After months of watching her do this, I asked one day, “Why do you eat those like that?”
She grinned and said, “I eat the middle first because I like that the least. I love the outside the best, so I save it for last.”
Of course, every time I see Reese Cups, I think of her, but I also think about her tackling the part of the candy she didn’t like as much first. If only life’s hard parts were as easy as eating the middle out of a Reese Cup!
Life is certainly more complicated than that, and so often, we have difficult situations and issues that we need to address. We can choose to deal with difficult situations now, or we can push them to the back, hoping they go away. The thing is though, most of the time, the issue is still there and often worse as a result of not addressing the problem head-on.
We procrastinate and put off dealing with uncomfortable and problematic situations for many reasons, but a lot of times we do it because we’re fearful. I’ve written about my fear of the dentist before, so I’ll spare you with the details. However, my fear of going to the dentist caused a chain reaction of worse events. Because I was fearful, I didn’t go to the dentist at the first sign of trouble. Because I didn’t go, my tooth situation got worse. Because my tooth problem got worse, it caused me more pain and money!
We all know that we shouldn’t put off things intellectually, but it can be quite different when you reflect on something that you’ve been avoiding or facing and why. If fear of physical or emotional pain, fear of change, or fear of failure is stopping you, pray and do what’s necessary now! Waiting to act doesn’t improve the situation. After you pray, trust God to assist you and act!
James 4:17 says, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” We are accountable for what we know. When we don’t face the things that we should do and put them off, we are causing ourselves more problems. (What might be the good thing for us to do, may not necessarily be the good thing for someone else to do. That’s between each one of us and the Lord.) The bottom line is that we shouldn’t delay facing and making decisions about the hard things. It does us no justice. We are accountable to God for not doing what we should do.
It’s funny because I’ve been lecturing my children about preparing for tests early. I’ve told them, “The minute that you know there’s going to be a test, start studying. If you buckle down and do this now, then the night before the exam is a piece of cake.” Well, of course, the lessons I’m trying to teach them, I can apply to myself. Facing the giants now instead of later can seem daunting at times, but with God’s help, He can empower us with His wisdom, insight, and direction. By dealing with the things we don’t want to deal with today, we can work through the problem to victory totally free! Victory is so much sweeter when we have dealt with the bitter.
Blessings and Love,