If you are going to suffer in this life (and that’s a given), you might as well suffer for the right reasons. The Bible explains it this way; “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” (1 Peter 4:15-16)
I remember a man coming to an evening Bible Study once in a very agitated state. He was spouting off about the persecution he had endured earlier in the day because he is a Christian. Someone at work had popped him in the mouth. I found out later that the truth was that his “persecution” had nothing to do with his faith. This man was a hot head who probably had more than a little to do with the pop he took.
When we suffer it is a good idea to examine our life. Did any of our own actions or attitudes lead us to the mess we are in? When my marriage broke up I remember needing to acknowledge this. Yes, Satan got in there and had a field day but I played a part and opened some doors that he could use.
The point of examining the roots of our suffering is not to embrace guilt or hold a pity party. The point is to minimize future suffering that can be prevented. By honestly assessing our own responsibility we can bring that issue to the cross of Christ, seek forgiveness and healing for our broken places.
The next time we have to suffer, may it only be for the right reasons.