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A Blessing or a Wound?

Okay. This financial mess we’re in is definitely a crisis. The full extent of the problem is unclear, but a few things are likely. It is global. It will be long. And for those of us under the age of seventy five, it will probably be unprecedented and, thus, will change our lives.

The big question we need to be asking ourselves is “how will it change our lives?” And there are only two possible answers to that question: for better, or for worse. That’s right. Sometime in the future we will look back at this time and see it largely as a blessing or as a wound. The key to determining which of these will occur—in our families as well as our nation—lies in how we view suffering and the decisions we make as a result.

Ironically, I’m not as worried about our collective ability to survive this crisis—people are always more resilient than they think they are—but rather about what we might do before we feel its full impact. That’s because the anticipation of pain and suffering is often worse than the suffering itself.

I remember when I was a boy waiting for my dad to come down the hall and give me one of his rare but much-deserved spankings. It was misery. But I also remember that the spanking itself was never all that bad, and that when it was over I felt no resentment for my usually gentle dad. In fact, I quickly came to feel a sense of gratitude and relief because I had endured the punishment and pain, and could move forward stronger and better for it.

However, if you would have asked me before the spanking what I would have done to get out of it, I would have said ‘anything.’ Lied. Begged. Faked remorse. Sold my baseball cards. And that’s what worries me. Will we be so desperate to avoid or delay or even anesthesize ourselves from pain and suffering that we will make dangerous decisions which will only prolong and exacerbate our problems? Or will we take our medicine and allow it to make us stronger?

Read the rest of Patrick Lencioni’s article,

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2 Comments

  1. I wonder how the people who do not have the Lord in their lives to lean on and trust in, no matter the darts and arrows, are going to make it through this. I receive great comfort from knowing that this was not a surprise nor unexpected for God; that He has me in His hands and will never let me go; and that He has had a plan for me from before I was formed in my mother’s womb. There are 365 “do not fears” in His Word and I, for one, will trust Him.

  2. I have been pondering Job 36:21 for the last sseveral days. In one translation it says, “Take care to not now turn to evil, which you seem to prefer over suffering.” I have concluded, that so many times in my life I have done just that. For instance, countless times I have lied to escape suffering. Even though Jesus has told us His life, which we are urged to strive to achieve, is one of suffering, we continuously attempt to avoid it at whatever cost. What fools we are, and yet Jesus never gives up on us!


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