Problem Solving Part One – Identification

Problem Solving

Part One – Identification

Acts. 9:1-6


Problem solving is part of life. You can be sure of two things: problems will happen all the time, and they can provide an opportunity for you to get better at solving them. How well you accomplish this each time will have great effect on you. If you solve the problems you face according to the how the Lord would have you to, things are more apt to go well. If not, they will not go well and not go away but, only grow bigger. We are going to look at three steps to solving problems. This lesson will deal with the first one, Identification.

In Acts chapter 9, Paul had no idea that he had a problem. He was doing exactly what he thought God wanted him to do. He was very zealous and devoted to what he thought was the will of God. All his friends and folks at church would easily say “he’s on fire for God”. He, by all appearance, was a great success, then the Lord showed up and identified Paul’s problem. He showed up in Matt.23 and identified some problems of the Pharisees. We don’t need to get to this point, do we?


  1. Identify the Problem, don’t just manage the Symptoms
    1. “I’m late on my rent” is a symptom (a problem but not the problem)
      1. Financial problem
      2. Make more money or spend less money or both = solution
  • Borrowing money is managing symptoms, bad idea [Prov.22:7]
  1. “I can’t button my pants anymore” is a symptom (a problem but not the problem)
    1. Eating problem
    2. Stop eating so much = solution
  • Buying new pants (bigger) is managing the symptoms, bad idea (nothing changed) soon you will need the next bigger size
  1. We must really search for the Identity of the Problem, solve it and then the symptoms will go away!
  2. We need to deal with the ROOT of the problem and not the FRUIT of the problem – symptoms




  1. Identify the Problem by Name, don’t call it something else
    1. The Financial Problem mentioned before is probably Covetousness
      1. Which is as Idolatry [Col.3:5] [Eph.5:5]
      2. Rebellion is as Witchcraft, and Stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry, [1 Sam.15:23]
  • Stealing is not repurposing, it’s stealing.
  1. The Eating Problem mentioned before is probably Gluttony (nothing wrong with eating, but when in excess, bingo.
  2. The root of most of our problems is Sin
  3. [John 8:1-11] Jesus called it what it was!




  1. Identify the Problem by Owning it
    1. We normally will blame someone else for the symptoms and problem
    2. Eve said the devil made her do it, Adam said Eve made her do it. [Gen. 3:12-13]
    3. You will never identify your problem until you own it




  1. Identify the Problem by Seeking Wise Counsel
    1. Most people don’t know they have cancer till the go to a doctor
    2. They may or may not have symptoms of the cancer
    3. [2 Cor.13:1] Even doctors seek another’s diagnosis
    4. Most people can identify pride, except in themselves. [Rom.2:1]




  1. Identify the Problem First, don’t implement a Solution too quickly
    1. Implementation is the last step, not the first
    2. You really need to clearly understand the problem first
    3. “It hurts when I do that”, quick solution = “Don’t do that”
    4. Identify Why it hurts when you do that, so that it will never hurt again!
    5. Running to a solution quickly means that you skipped all the other steps, no counsel, no ownership, probably named it something really nice, and as soon as the symptoms weaken, you will quit and go back to your problem [Prov.26:11]



[Acts 9:6] Take the time before you get in trouble to ask “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”


It is so important to Identify the Problem so that you can solve it. Next lesson we will learn the next step in Problem Solving.