Suffering That Hurts vs. Suffering That Helps

suffering that hurts -- suffering that helps -- man alone suffering

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My original post on this topic concluded with these lines:

Both living in truth and living in falsehood bring suffering.

In my next post, I’ll talk about why the suffering that truth brings is better.

Have you ever had a terrible, miserable, horrible, awful experience that, when it’s over, you look back on it and say, “That was beyond horrible– but I wouldn’t trade it for anything”?

Most people have.

Severe illness of yourself or illness/death of a loved one.

A major business/financial failure.

A divorce.

To live is to have horrible experiences, to go through stuff that really, really sucks.

It sucks away your passion.

It sucks away your enthusiasm and joy.

For a while, it sucks away a lot of what you have always recognized as your life.

But when you look back on those experiences and know you wouldn’t trade them for anything, that’s because they were redemptive. Something good came out of them. You know you’re better for all the suffering you did.

You’re better. Or stronger. Or wiser. Or more compassionate. Or deeper. Or gentler. Or more humble, or calm, or patient, or honest.

You’re just better.

Often suffering isn’t in our control, but sometimes it is.

And anytime you  have a choice in the matter, always choose redemptive suffering over non-redemptive suffering.

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If a person has a type of anxiety that can be fixed by prayer and other overtly spiritual activities, they probably don’t have a very clinically significant anxiety at all.

Most of the time, the spiritual activities people with clinically significant anxiety do to deal with their anxiety stem from the anxiety itself. They are forms of self-medication, actual functions of the illness. They are not so much “choosing” to do these things, but driven to them by the lack of other, more effective, options. Once people get the treatment they need (therapy, medication, often both is most effective), they can then make choices to do their spiritual activities rather than those activities coming out of the anxiety to begin with.

David Flowers
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When you talk to true combat veterans very few remain “Gung-Ho” after seeing combat…they carry tremendous guilt even though many times there was no choice to their actions…killing ALWAYS damages the person doing the killing .

It’s the same with hatred and anger…it will consume your life if you let it…even if you were a victim and have every right to your anger…at some point you have to decide that the way to a peaceful life…a life of true meaning and rich experiences is love and forgiveness….not hatred and anger. It’s just the way it is. That’s nature (I believe divine nature). It does not matter if we/you believe it….it is TRUE…it is the way we are built.

“You cannot break the laws of nature….you can only break yourself against them.”

What You Can’t Afford Not to Know About Your Marriage

communication - what you can't afford not to know

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DISCLAIMER: This post contains a lot of generalizations, named such because they are generally true. They may not be true about you or your relationship.

One of the things I love about blogging is that I get to give away my secrets. In this post I’m going to teach you something so important that you simply cannot afford to not know it. As soon as I tell you this, you need to begin considering this stuff and building on this information that might be brand new. If you do, you will see communication in your marriage begin to improve almost immediately. It’s that important.

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The Reality That Is Making Me More Liberal (theologically)

Crowd of People -- working with people

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People who don’t work with people day in and day out, in the trenches of their lives, can afford to philosophize about people, to make up abstractions, and talk about the rightness/wrongness of people in philosophical terms, holding people up to their abstractions and deciding who fits and who is lacking and how so.

But in all my years working with people, for example, I’ve never seen “homosexuality.” Never once.

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