2019 has begun and the year is off like a rocket ship toward new targets. But issues in our past and ones we often try to ignore unfortunately still keep rearing their evil heads. World hunger, sexual injustice, cancer, global warming, political turmoil and terrorism are world issues that keep biting at our heels. But it’s our own personal dilemmas that generally keep us grounded and unable to soar. These life disruptions never seem to heal, go away nor can we escape them. We just have to deal with them. Yet the reality is we keep trying because we know that if we can fix dilemmas then we can change the world. It’s what drove Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to create personal computers.
Is there anyway to approach our dilemmas differently in this New Year?
Maybe. But first, let’s step back and determine what is solvable and what isn’t. Knowing if the issue is a problem or a dilemma is the first step. In fact, futurists are predicting that knowing the difference between them and leading within them will be an essential key for success in years to come. Simply put, problems are solvable and dilemmas are not. As technology allows us to solve more problems, dilemmas – those unsolvable issues, will become bigger and will impact our lives more severely. The #MeToo movement is a recent example that exploded in 2018 and which led to the #WeToo movement in the Church. Gender and sexual injustice have been around for thousands of years but the internet delivered its ugliness to us via our hand held digital devices 24/7 making the world take notice and creating global disruption in all areas of life and work.
So how can we bring God’s light as dilemma leaders?
Technology is a tool to help solve problems but it can’t solve dilemmas. Computers may help us in figuring out how to distribute food for a nonprofit organization in new ways, but computers won’t solve world hunger. God-given wisdom and courage to act on His direction are the elements required. It means becoming a leader whose bold and unafraid of revolutionary thinking. One who observes a hopeless situation and can bring a new perspective, an uncanny approach or possibly even flipping it into an opportunity so that others see God’s alive and active resolution. Solving dilemmas means that a supernatural path or something mystical may have to happen. As believers of Jesus, we call these unnatural occurrences miracles. They are something that a computer program or a new technology will never be able to accomplish. When Jesus took a few fishes and loaves of bread and fed thousands He showed us how to solve a dilemma. When He told Peter to throw his net to the other side of the boat, Jesus taught Peter how to look in a new direction – His.
Can we really do miracles of God to solve dilemmas today?
Jesus said that we could (John 14:12). He gifted us with the ability through the Holy Spirit and His disciples performed many after His death and resurrection (Acts 5:12). Even today we hear stories and have seen recent movies and TV shows about people who have survived miraculously from deadly diseases or injuries and even have been brought back from the dead by the power of God. It is to that end that we, as believers in God, bring Hope to the many working in ministries and nonprofits and to those they serve.
So… how do we lead in 2019 while we wait for a miracle?
We stay engaged with God and become purveyors of Hope. We become proclaimers of God’s promises found in His Word bringing the aroma and knowledge of Jesus to the world as the Bible says in, II Corinthians 2:14. Then, we use our integrity and influence shaped by the infusion of His wisdom to bring positive life-changing resolutions to an otherwise hopeless situation. And what’s more important, it allows us to be conduits of God’s power to be displayed.
We saw this power displayed in the lives of William Wilberforce, Florence Nightingale, Abraham Lincoln and in our modern era, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. These heroic leaders took on unsolvable dilemmas so that the world might see a new light and go a better way. Today their legacy and leadership continue to affect lives as others take up their tireless passion to continue to find resolutions.
Will dilemma’s ever be solved?
Yes, but not until Jesus returns to eradicate sin forever and bring God’s justice. Only then will pain and suffering end and peace come. Until then God calls us to endure, aid those who suffer and stand in the gap and be peacemakers. To live in a world that has opposing viewpoints and is often making choices leading to more suffering and pain. But we’re called to be there. To be Jesus’ representative bringing peace and sharing the message of Jesus, the hope of all, to the world.
F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence (a wise person) is to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should…be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise.”
Are you willing to stand in the gap of opposing ideas and be a dilemma leader in 2019?
With God, we can be dilemma navigators even busters. With God’s wisdom and our courageous trust in Him, nothing is impossible and we can bring peace rather than violence, love rather than hate and hope rather than hopelessness.
And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17 (NASB).