Photo by: Jay Mantri

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV) says,  "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

Let me be a good Biblical Scholar, and take this out of context.  Suffering is actually good for you.  When was the last time you as a good American suffered?  We spend most of our lives avoiding suffering at all costs, but maybe that is at our own detriment.  Endurance, hope, character... these are big things!  Great things!  Maybe we are missing something in our lives when we avoid suffering.  Or even on a lesser scale, difficulty.  The most difficult thing a lot of Americans will do this year is file their taxes.  We are privileged in America to not have to face much suffering or difficulty, unlike other parts of the world.  Maybe this lack of suffering makes our lives feel stale and hollow.  Hollow lives tend to be filled with self inflicted suffering, as if it is built into our DNA.

A life without difficulty.  We will always find ways of filling it with suffering.  Maybe it's no wonder that heroin is on a rise in the suburbs.  Relationship issues can be a great source of self inflicted suffering too.  But maybe in America we don't chose our suffering well.  Our suffering doesn't produce endurance that leads to character and hope.  It leads to destruction.  We don't invite the right types of suffering into our lives.  We ignore our diet, physical and psychological states, and self medicate with TV, alcohol, relationships etc.   

Here's a solution, stick to your diet and exercise!  Suffer in the right way by keeping your negative thoughts to yourself!  Running is a great form of suffering!  It is one that I have found to lead to endurance physically and psychologically.  It encourages a healthy diet and surrounds us by good influences, you know, the ones who aren't into heroin...  If you are running, you will find you have little energy to fight with your significant other.  

Choose the good types of suffering.  You will know it's a good type if it produces endurance, character and hope in your life.

1 comment:

  1. Bravo! I didn't suffer at all reading this. Wait, is that a bad thing?

    Keep up the good work.