“When Jesus heard of John’s execution, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.” — Matthew 14:12
“After the feeding of the multitude and dismissing the crowd, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening, he was there alone.” — Matthew 14:23
Christian Bible Lesson Overview
Most of us will face major crises during our lives. It is critical to focus on what is important and not let all the distractions from others cloud your mind. Regardless of how bad you are feeling, you must find time for yourself. Even Jesus had to go up on the mountain where he could be alone and spend time in prayer. The interaction with other people can distract you from addressing the challenge. You must focus on the Christian Lessons that address the situation and find the courage to do what you need to do to address your feelings and help other people.
Christian Bible Lesson for Today
Almost twenty years ago, I lost a company that I worked so hard to build. My company was a software development company. I contracted several programmers from the East Coast to do development work for me. The programmers did not pay their taxes. Based on the advice of my attorney, I was under the impression that it was lawful to pay them as independent contractors. The challenge came when they did not pay their taxes. I became responsible for their taxes plus penalties. It was more money than I could pay. I felt the pain of so many needy people I saw over the years.
Many of my friends and associates were giving me advice. As more people tried to convince me what to do, I felt more depressed. I remembered the Christian Lesson from the two verses above. I left on a trip to Paradise, California, where I spent my early years. It felt good to go down to the river and pray and think about what I should do. I thought about what I thought was the right thing to do. At first, I thought I did nothing wrong because the laws were vague and why should I be responsible for paying the taxes of others? Then I realized that thinking about whether I was right or wrong was not going to solve the situation.
After spending that time alone fasting and praying, I realized I had to take responsibility for the situation. I had to shut down the company and find a way to pay the IRS. Then a feeling came over me. I realized that I did not have to face everything alone. I thought about who could help me. Then I decided to meet with the man who raised the investment funds for the company and who was an attorney. I called him and told him I knew I had to take responsibility for the situation, but I did not have the resources to satisfy the IRS. He was impressed with my honesty. He decided to help. He met with IRs on my behalf at no cost to me. He convinced them to remove the penalty and allow me to set up a payment plan that would take several years to pay the funds. Then he surprised me by offering to pay half the debt because he was the attorney who advised me to pay the programmers as independent contractors. I was shocked, and I felt good for the first time in months.
Christian Bible Lesson Summary
If I had not spent the time alone in prayer, I would never have accepted responsibility for the debt. Accepting responsibility was the reason my attorney played such a vital role in helping me. I learned that there is always an answer, but you must focus alone with God to find it. This Christian Lesson was extremely important to me.