Christianese 101: Suffering Wars

suffering

I’m kind of more on the sarcastic side of speech every now and again. I will occasionally joke or comment about being tired from school or work, but it’s usually nothing that is that deep for me. I do it just to poke fun at my situation. However, I notice that people get to the point where they get this big chip on their shoulders where they feel like they’ve been through more than another person so they should get more blessings. Or they have been through more than another person so they don’t feel sympathetic to a person’s situation. I see Christians especially falling into that ‘but, I suffered more’ comparison game. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the hunger games of suffering and we’re all having a ‘suffering war’ to see who outshines each other in what they’ve went through. However, God doesn’t play this game though. No, seriously He doesn’t. He actually will bless whomever He wants whether or not they suffered as much as you.

For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”

Romans 9:15(ESV)

The problem is that we as Christians don’t always understand the purpose of suffering. It’s not to block others from receiving what God has decided to bless them with. No, the purpose of suffering is to mold you into the person God has created you to be and to help you bless and help others with your testimony. Our suffering qualifies us to do the job that God has designed us to do. It’s not so you can wallow in your pity party wondering why does God choose to bless this person and not me or this person has a father and mother, has a house, has a good job, has a car, gets free stuff, they’re attractive, or whatever else, so God shouldn’t continue to bless them. No! That’s not of God and that’s not how He works!

“Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.  And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 5:8-10(ESV)

I was in a bible study just the other day and one thing that one of the girls said that really resonated with me is that ‘God has room to bless everyone’. This is so true! And since God has room, power, and ability to bestow anything and everything to everyone we should not continue to walk around with this chip on our shoulder about how much we struggle compared to others. God did not create us to compare our sufferings to another. I always say to people in my life that they need to realize that sometimes people have heavier crosses to bear than others. The good thing about having a heavier cross, though, is that you always get to witness the working power of God because He has to help you carry it more than those with a lighter cross!! Stop comparing! You’re suffering is to your advantage and not your detriment! Let God help you carry that cross! Watch Him show up in your life time and time again.

It’s one thing to mention your sufferings to boast in how great God is and what He can do, to help edify and encourage each other, but we should not use our sufferings to tear down another person to act like they are not going through anything. We all have our seasons that we go through and you might be more mature in your faith in certain areas than others. Give them that same grace that God gave you when He was developing you into the woman/man He made you today. Let them breathe, let them grow, and let them find their way. Can you give them advice? Sure, but don’t talk behind they’re backs about how they ain’t been through jack because you have a sister/brother that went through way more or you went through way more yourself.

Look, I’ve been through so many different things(WAY much more than what I’ve mentioned here thus far) and I could complain about all of them. I could shut everyone down with just a minute amount of the things I or people I know have suffered through for preaching and living out the gospel alone, but what would my reward be for doing that? Your reward is that you got to gloat. Sure, maybe God will still reward you anyway, but don’t block what God has for you or ruin your witness because you are trying to block people from receiving what God has for them because you don’t feel like they deserve it. Who are you? You are not God that’s for sure. So, remember your place in the divine hierarchy. Blessing people is God’s business, not ours.

If you’re a person who continues to be blessed by God despite not going through as much as others, do not let anyone tell you that you do not deserve the blessings God has for you. It’s God’s decision, not theirs. If you’re a person who has suffered ‘more’, know that God blessing other people before He blesses you does not define His love for you! Your suffering is not a reflection of God’s lack of love! He cares for you just like He cares for those He has blessed. Nothing can stop God from loving you!

“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.”

Romans 5: 3-5(ESV)

God bless you!

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