How many times have you heard that phrase or how many times have you used it?
Minimization—the acknowledgement of the reality of a situation and even owning responsibility for it but denying its seriousness. This is the topic for the week. Maybe you have done a favor for someone or maybe someone has done something for you and the phrase “no problem” is used.
But what if it is a problem?
A REAL PROBLEM.
Why do we do this? Maybe we want to express the idea that it was not that much effort and the other person does not owe us anything in return. Maybe we want to be “cool” about the effort we just expended; we don’t want to show how much work it was. Maybe we just want to not make a big deal…
But what if it is a BIG DEAL?
By labeling it “no problem” does that really change reality?
Does the label change a serious problem into a less serious problem? What if what has happened is a sin?
You’re a student and another student has asked you to cheat and you do it. No problem. What if a man is “coming on to you” and you decide to reciprocate and this goes too far to the point that you commit adultery? No problem. What if your friends encourage you to take drugs and you try them and really like them and suddenly you think they are ok? No problem.
The list of sins can go on and on.
Really, does saying it is no problem really diminish the fact that you are right in the middle of a problem, a serious problem? I don’t think so. We live in a high stress world today and some folks may say that we just need to be calm and worry less. I am all for less anxiety but if we have less anxiety by living in a dream world, what are we doing? We are living in a dream world and we are not facing up to our problems.
Like hiding from the real me when I need to face up to the real me [Chapter 5].
Like denying that I have a problem when I need to admit that I have a problem [Chapter 6].
Like projecting my problems off on to others when it is my problem, not theirs [Chapter 7].
As in these earlier chapters, Pastor Idleman is trying to get us to realize that we need brutal honesty, not another defense mechanism. We are not going to grow if we hide from the real world. We are going to have arrested development. We are going to be in a “stuck state.” We are going to find ourselves going nowhere fast.
This week we will be looking at “no problem” as another way of running from our problems.