PROBLEM SOLVING: Titus, the Man to Look For

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Titus: (1:10–14)

WHILE TIMOTHY had a shepherd’s heart and a tendency toward timidity, Titus was the man to call upon when a church had a problem. The apostle Paul sent Titus to both Corinth and Crete to organize the chaos and establish leaders. Titus later returned to Corinth to organize the offering Paul wanted to collect for the church in Jerusalem. Still later, when conflict arose between the Corinthian church and Paul, Titus took the initiative and negotiated with the church until he achieved peace. Paul trusted him more than anyone else to solve problems and make peace among the people.

Problem solving is the fastest way to gain leadership. Left alone, things go awry. Left alone, people go astray. Left alone, plans go amiss. When someone steps forward with solutions, he or she catches the attention of others. The man with the plan is the man with the power. Consider the characteristics of good problem solvers:

1. They anticipate problems.
Titus anticipated problems in Corinth and prevented a possible church split.

2. They accept the truth.
Titus was always honest with Paul and the troubled churches he led. He faced reality.

3. They see the big picture.
Titus knew how to deal with the church in Crete, due to his larger perspective.

4. They handle one thing at a time.
Titus took the initiative and dealt with one major conflict at a time.

5. They don’t give up a major goal when they’re down.
Titus tenaciously addressed the conflicts in Corinth until he solved them.

When you face a problem, how do you react? Do you ignore it and hope it will go away? Do you feel paralyzed or powerless? Do you tend to give up after one attempt at a solution? The ability to solve problems comes from experience in facing and overcoming obstacles. If you never try, fail, and try again, you’ll never master the difficulty. To improve your problem-solving skills, do the following:

1. Look for trouble.
Don’t avoid problems; attack them. Use caution, but find them and take them to someone with experience in that area. We learn to solve problems by pursuing them.

2. Develop a method.
Come up with a system. Take time to discover the real issue; find out what others have done; have your team study options; prioritize solutions and try one.

3. Surround yourself with problem solvers.
Find others who complement your weaknesses, especially if you aren’t a good problem solver. Diverse thinking allows you to solve a variety of problems.

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