Thursday, January 10, 2013

Unnecessary Pain

I had a neighbor once who left the Church because her father, who was in his 70's, died. She said to me one day, "How can I believe in a God who would take a father away from a daughter who needs him?" But more than just leaving her faith, this woman suffered measurably because of the death of her father. She was distraught. She suffered depression. She became bitter which estranged her from friends and others close to her. It was a terrible thing to watch happen especially when I could see how simple it would be for her to be out of the pain she was causing herself. She was suffering Unnecessary Pain.

Unnecessary Pain is self-inflicted and comes from four sources:
1.Misuse of agency.
        Our own hearts will tell us what we should do concerning right and wrong, and if we go against what our heart tells us our conscience is pricked and we will suffer guilt and usually much greater pain. As much as some people try, none of us can go against our own conscience is telling us to do and feel good.
2. Fighting against the truth of a telestial world.
        Whenever we fight against the reality or verity of a telestial world we experience Unnecessary Pain. This is what my neighbor experienced. Death is a part of a telestial world. Everyone will eventually experience it. Whether it comes early or late there is nothing we can do about it and so when we get angry or depressed or vexed in any way about it we only cause ourselves pain.  Anytime we find ourselves thinking things like: “This shouldn’t be happening to me. I shouldn't have fallen and broken my arm. He shouldn’t have done that to me. She should have said that to me. Why is God doing this or allowing this?” We are creating Unnecessary Pain.
3. Trying to avoid Necessary Pain.
         Whenever we try to avoid the Necessary Pain we will experience Unnecessary Pain. Learning to walk (or learning anything!) required a certain amount of Necessary Pain. But if we refuse to learn and continue to crawl around on all fours we are only going to create pain, but it is Unnecessary Pain because it could be avoided by simply passing through the Necessary Pain of learning. Spiritual growth, physical growth, intellectual growth all require a certain  amount of pain, but if we try to avoid it we cause ourselves more pain and this pain is unnecessary. There is a great irony here. We are in pain either way, but the Unnecessary Pain accomplishes nothing.
4. Denying Christ.
         How do we do that? By feeling like we have to do it all ourselves. By feeling like we can never be forgiven no matter how sincerely we have repented. By comparing ourselves to others and trying to be like them instead of discovering what God wants us to do and be. By thinking we’ll never be good enough. In short, by not trusting that Jesus Christ will do what He has said He will do for us. He has promised to recompense us for every and any injustice we have ever experienced and to pay the price for all our sins and mistakes. What more could we ask for?

All we have to do to get rid of Unnecessary Pain 
is to let go of it. 
It is that easy!

No comments: