I awoke, cloudy from sleep, but clearly hearing the words, “what is the solution”. Do you mean what is the answer, I thought. “What is the solution” came thundering back to me. Clearly my sleep had ended for the night. I lay in bed and rolled the words for a few minutes. I know an answer is different than a solution, but a solution can be part of an answer. (A solution can be the answer.) But I was unsure of what I was hearing.
It made me think about people who say “Jesus is the answer”. (What was the question?) Is Jesus the answer? Is He the solution?
A solution is defined as a means of dealing with a difficult situation; the correct answer. An answer is something you say or write to respond to a question.
1+1 has many answers. Only one will correct or the solution.
When I look at the body of believers and think about all the answers that come from the different groups, gift mixes and microcosms of faith, I wonder. When I look around at all the situations in the nation, in the world, I think this is bigger than the Radio Shack ad, “You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers”.
I agree that everyone has answers but answers in themselves will not necessarily fix things. Even if all the answers are right. Without a cohesive, coherent, organized response to a situation, answers alone my not be the answer.
Everyone has been confronted with helping someone at one point or another. Immediate answers or response to various situations may stop a circumstance, but they may not empower a better lifestyle or cause better thinking or choices to appear.
The phrase “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” first appeared in an 1885 novel, Mrs. Dymond. The thinking being that if you feed a person today and you are not around tomorrow, how will they eat?
Every person, every gift mix will have an answer or a portion to this phrase. Some will feed and keep on feeding. Others will offer answers and no food, leaving the person hungry.
My point is that there are lots of good answers, but there is perhaps only one solution that provides wholeness and long term value.
And will that not be the way with the economy or terrorism? With poverty and borders? With health and welfare?
I do not believe Jesus came to give answers or to be the answer. I believe He came and left us with the opportunity to think and be. To obtain and create our own solutions. He answered the sin issue. In His answer He provided additional answers to circumstances and situations. For instance He paid for healing so why be sick? (Now we ought think like Him.)
2 Peter 1:3-4 Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Promises. These promises can be answers.But only when they are mixed with faith and the questions asked or revealed that need a solution. (Chemo is an answer. Wholeness is a solution.) Promises that open up to wholeness.
For too long our schools became a place for the “right answer” and critical thinking was lost. Then they came to a place where all answers had value, but also stopped looking for the right answer or the pathway to solutions.
I felt this coming to me this morning. God is raising up solutions providers. People who see the big picture and know how to assemble the collection of answers. If God provides peace then we have the answer to war and hatred and racism. If God provides love, then we have the answers to hurt and pain and loss. If God provides for all our needs then debt can be eradicated and provision realized and utilized. If God provides healing we have the answer for cancer; for sickness and disease.
You’ve got situations, we have solutions.