Tuesday, November 20, 2012

computer virus edition: what is the point of suffering

So I talked with my Mom last night and that was helpful.  She has lead a very difficult life (before and after becoming a Christian).  One of the questions I have banging around inside my head is:
If someone is so deeply depressed that they can't even go grocery shopping and barely have contact with the world, what is the point of such suffering?

Mom said, she still felt it was worth it, but that she finds herself asking the same questions.  Which I think is fair to ask.

The first thing that comes to mind is the idea that my faith is only important outside myself.  That if I'm not impacting the lives of others, my faith is useless.  However, I see that there is error in this thought, for God did not save me only to have me share with others.  He saved me to have a relationship with ME. 

So I go to:  Why must there be so much suffering?
And the very next question I hear is:  How much suffering would be acceptable?

I don't have an answer for that.  Because if I say half, my measuring stick changes and half of today's suffering will soon feel like too much. 

Then I think: 
  • How much suffering have I been spared from?
  • Is this all just a first world problem and I am complaining about not having "enough" when I actually have "abundance" according to the world's standards.  (example:  I'm completely stuffed from a potluck and eating out today.  Certainly this is not a 3rd world problem where every day could mean the difference between life and death.)
  • Is all the "stuff" of first world living actually a kind of curse because it changes my expectations of God?
Just a little light conversation for today.

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