“And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” vss. 3-4a
There are some who believe that when they consciously begin to walk with Jesus things will turn around for them in every way. Diseases and relationships will be healed, business will flourish, wealth will increase, and faith will be strengthened. All the glitches of life that affect ordinary people will just disappear for them. And that is indeed what they report to any who will listen to them. Paul would have scoffed! After Christ exploded into his life he faced one setback after another–and rather than cover up his pain, he meticulously listed all the beatings, insults, imprisonments, and shipwrecks in his letters to newly formed congregations. For him it was these sufferings that were the source of character and hope in his life, and he saw no reason to put on a happy face and maintain a pious posture. His insights remain credible. If we really want to connect with others and build community, we’ll be completely honest about life’s reversals. In fact our credibility is enhanced when our stories “ring true” with what others are experiencing. There is no need to play religious charades with the people we meet. The more honest and real we can be about flaws and imperfections, the deeper the relationships that will result. And hope will abound!
Thought for the Day: How do another person’s flaws give me hope?