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Beneficial Adversity


Beneficial Adversity

There was an image circulated via email a few days ago with four pictures. The first showed the men on Iwo Jima raising the US flag in WWII. It was titled, “Hard times make strong men”. The next image was of a man working on his car in the 1950s. It was titled, “Strong men make good times”. The third image was of people partying in the 1980s. It was titled, “Good times make weak men”. The last picture was of abandoned houses in Detroit that looked like a demilitarized zone. It was titled, “Weak men make hard times”.

I once worked with a man (a non-custodial parent) who said one of the saddest things I have ever heard, he said, “The laziest person I have ever seen is my son. He never gets up from a video game except to go to the refrigerator.” It is not uncommon for the older generation to comment on the flaws they see in the younger generation. However, this does not automatically mean that these observations are invalid.

By creating a social environment for our children of unending entertainment, subsidized indolence, unrestrained consumerism, offense at every slight (real or imagined), and the cultivation of a critical spirit to contend with that of a movie, restaurant or theater critic, we may have produced a generation of perpetual adolescents with weak character. This may have been done with good intentions, but the result indicates that it might be legitimately called child abuse.

A generation or two ago a wayward child could have been sent to the military where exposure to an adverse environment might have helped him develop the strength of character he was missing. Unfortunately, the military environment has been modified as to not inflict such character improving difficulty. In addition, the military no longer desires to accept those in need of correction.

The bible tells us that the Lord “chastens” those he loves.

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, wrestling against sin. And ye have quite forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. Hebrews 12:4-6

There is a saying that the best education in the world comes from the school of hard knocks, the problem is that the tuition is so high. For Christians, we have the option to surrender ourselves to the Lord’s leading in humility and sincerity so that we might avoid the more harsh chastening the Lord might use to get our attention such as getting laid off, finding ourselves in the midst of divorce, or struggling with addiction when we should have already been seeking his leading.

Satan is almost finished using Christians to advance the plan of global collectivism he has been advancing for centuries. As a result, Christians should expect to face increasing hostility and persecution. In addition to finally getting Christians to curtail their love affair with the world, we might find that increasing hostility improves our character by seeking after and clinging to Jesus. This might result in a more clear testimony as Peter tells those about to undergo persecution;

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15



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