Chapter 7: Embracing Suffering
- I think Elisabeth Elliot was right in saying, "The word suffering is much too grand to apply to most of our troubles." (Page 108) At least, it is true for me. However, I like how the author adapted her quote and included the following as a definition of suffering, in order to include more circumstances from our lives:
1) The things in your life that you wish weren't there
2) Those things you want to have but don't
3) Anything you want to be but aren't
- He gives two reasons for suffering. The first is the change it brings in us. This was a good reminder for me- my natural reaction is to look for the exit door of the suffering. I was encouraged to take my focus off the exit and look for the lesson within it.
- I agree with his second reason for suffering as well: it enables us to give. We have seen that events in our lives have helped us to more thoughtful of others- even when their situations don't match ours.
- The author asks, "Can you relate? In your moment ... of hurt, were those who spoke most poignantly to your soul ... the men, women, or children who have walked in your shoes?" (Page 112) Sadly, in some circumstances, the people we expected to understand or relate were just as nonchalant as everyone else. That was frustrating. Reading this paragraph and thinking of some specific examples reminded me to not let future circumstances crowd out the lessons I've learned from suffering. I don't want to go through suffering but then ignore others in their hurt.
- His assessment of the "Joseph Principle" in modern-day Christianity was good. I just wish he would have brought out more examples that didn't fit the principle. I want to also view suffering as simply something for God's glory instead of a stepping-stone for my own advancement.
I've had my say, what say you?
Discussion on Chapter 6
Discussion on Chapter 8