Suffering for Us to Grow in Character
While the fallenness of man resulted in suffering, another consequence of it is that for humans to grow in character. In the character theory of a nineteenth-century British psychologist, it is said that character is not inherent. It is the by-product of gradual development, formed by participating in the battle of life in the flow of the world,. A survivor of the unjust doing of Roman communism stated that the world with all its evil is God’s deliberately chosen environment for people to grow in their character. The character and trustworthiness that was formed here will eventually be taken with the individual to the afterlife.
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In the Christian view, suffering produces that can build up to produce a character that is full of hope that does not disappoint because of God’s love that was poured in their hearts by the works of the Holy Spirit that has given to them. In the case of the Apostle Paul about the thorn that proceeds to the pain in his flesh, he addresses this concern with a bold statement that says that when he is weak therefore he is strong.
Moreover, The ‘Best Lived’ experiment tells that if the suffering of a well-formed human being has been removed in the person’s life including the suffering that shaped the cultural background, family, and personal suffering it will eventually do not look like a great life that was to be celebrated. Practically every brilliant real-life story in history will become false without the possibility of significant suffering. On the lives of the living creatures of this world, as they grow, they will go through a lot of trials that may result in a negative feeling, but the end mark is for that being’s greater good.
The God of the Bible allows suffering for a season so that he will teach them important lessons that will humble, strengthen their faith, and toughen their characters. According to C.S Lewis, pain and suffering exist to alarm the person that something is wrong in the inside of him that can be proved. He also explained that because of the fall, the rebellious self of the believer finds itself alive that the process cannot be fixed without pain as a sufficient witness by the embodiment of the word mortification. This can be seen with Michael Angelo and the stone that other artists rejected that in producing a masterpiece it has to undergo the chiseling process. More so, if the marble has feelings it will result in resentment to the sculptor. The same goes for the physician that broke an arm properly for it to be healed. A wise man says that only in cultivating discipline, endurance and patience do we find sanctification and reward. God does not want his people to feel good. He wants his people to be good, And very often the path to becoming good involves not feeling good.
The most known person in the Bible that tells about suffering is the embodiment of Jesus Christ the Son of God that the Hebrew writer represents as made perfect through suffering. Even though Jesus is the Son of the Living God, he learned obedience through suffering. The task through which he had displayed greater and greater obedience was the form of suffering. A German philosopher has claimed that extreme misery will render a man virtuous and that the true liberator of the soul can be only great pain.
Through suffering, a man can develop his character through the process. Even if it is painful inside and out, the outcomes are indeed great. Especially in the standing of those who believed in God. In the letter of Apostle Peter stated that the God of all grace that called them to his eternal glory in Christ, those who suffer will be restored by God and make them strong, firm and steadfast.
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- Lewis, C. S. (1940). The Problem of Pain. Quebec: Samizdat University Press. Retrieved from http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/cosmos/philo/PDFs/ProblemofPain_CSL.pdf
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