“Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?”
1 Cor. 6:7b
We definitely have an aversion to suffering in our culture. I know, nobody should want to suffer, right? Only a masochist would choose to suffer, right? Perhaps, but what of the person who chooses to suffer for the right reasons? The Corinthian people were doing what many in our world today are doing; they avoided suffering or being wronged at all cost. The truth is, there is cost at which it is better to suffer or be wronged. The question is, how do we know when it’s best to choose to suffer or be wronged?
In Lent, we choose to suffer in a very small way. We choose to deny ourselves some thing or activity we would otherwise indulge in, as a matter of discipline. Such discipline is to help us grow in resistance to temptation. But, that is a very small way of suffering. In just about every other way, we here in Western culture have done our best to eliminate suffering.
Have We Gone Too Far?
We have medical care that tries to eliminate or minimize suffering. We have passed laws that allow us to sue others when we feel their actions have caused pain and suffering. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not against medical care. I think it is given to us as the healing hand of God for our time. And, I’m not against laws and courts designed to protect innocent people. However, in our culture, we seem to have taken the problem St. Paul addressed with the Corinthians to a whole new level.
Our society encourages us to fight back no matter what. People sue other people for the wrongs they feel, far too easily. And too often, this is true among those who are in the church. If Jesus is our model for living, we shouldn’t we be doing a lot more turning the cheek and being willing to be wronged? St. Paul asked the question – why not be wrong? Why is it so important that we right every wrong
For me, a great part of my Lenten journey is learning to identify opportunities to become more Christ like through humility. I’m still a long way from where I need to be on the Humility Scale, but I’m thankful for the journey.
My Prayer for Your Journey
I hope your journey is giving you cause to practice your faith in ways that challenge you. While I pray nothing of harm comes to you, I also pray that the hurts and heartaches that are germane to our fallen world will give you hope to say with St. Paul…why not? Why not suffer and let it grow your character? After all, Romans 8:17 tells us we are heirs with Christ, if we suffer with Him. Why not let yourself be wronged rather than take vengeance? After all, vengeance is the Lord’s (Rom. 12:19). Why not let yourself die…and be raised from the ashes?
Grace & Peace for a Holy Lent,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”