Aug 192013 5 Responses

The Devil Doesn’t Need an Advocate; He Needs an Adversary

Problem finding is not a skill.

No boss would promote a problem finder. No marriage is better because one spouse is a problem finder. No organization is in desperate need of a problem finder.

Work with a team, small group or organization and you are bound to find someone who prides themselves in their problem finding ability. They think it’s a gift. They believe they are on this earth in order to play Devil’s Advocate.

What they don’t realize is that the devil doesn’t need advocate.

Isn’t it interesting how quick we are to throw out that term—devil’s advocate—but no one ever says, “I’m going to be the Devil’s Adversary.”

  • What if we went out of our way to be positive?
  • What if we took an idea and found a way to make it one step better?
  • What if we always searched for the good?
  • Always saw the possibility?
  • Always asked the question, “How can we make that work?”

Why waste time playing the Devil’s Advocate when we could be spending time being the Devil’s Adversary?

The world doesn’t need another problem finder, because problem finding is not a gift. Problem finding is an exercise in the obvious.

Anyone can find problems. The only difference between someone who takes pride in problem finding and everyone else is that everyone else knows that problem finding is an easy game.

Problem finding is not a skill; problem solving is.

The last thing the world needs is another problem finder, but what we are in short supply of is problem solvers.

Problem solving is a skill in high demand. Who couldn’t use another problem solver?

  • What business wouldn’t benefit from one more employee who is a good problem solver?
  • What marriage wouldn’t be made stronger if one or both spouses were great problem solvers?
  • What non-profit couldn’t use a volunteer who was skilled at solving problems?

The trouble with problem finders is they don’t want to do the work which it takes to be a problem solver.

Problem finding is easy. The real task is not in finding the problem. The real task is in finding a workable solution to the problems which everyone sees.

The world doesn’t need more:

  • whiners
  • complainers
  • excuse makers

The world needs more people who are trying to make things better.

It’s an interesting characteristic I’ve noticed about leaders. All of them can find problems, but none of them take pride in their problem finding ability. They try to better themselves in, and seek others who, have a great skill, not at problem finding, but at problem solving.

Just Say it out loud:

  • “I married a problem finder” vs. “I married a problem solver”
  • “I can hire a problem finder” vs. “I can hire a problem solver”
  • “I can be a problem finder” vs. “I can be a problem solver”

It doesn’t take much for us to hear the difference.

It’s Monday. Problems are a dime a dozen. You see them. I seem them. Everyone sees them. Are you going to point them out and hope someone does something about it or are you going to try to be part of the solution and be a problem solver?

5 Responses to The Devil Doesn’t Need an Advocate; He Needs an Adversary
  1. glendakuhn Reply

    I have heard folks say that Christians can be fruit inspectors. That always sounded like an excuse for finding bruises, torn skins, and rotten cores, without offering a solution for tainted fruit.

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