We’re attracted to cheering on the underdog. We’re attracted to unlikely heroes. We’re in a time where sensation is the foundation on which we stand for entertainment.
Before we know it, we may find ourselves having created a rolodex of stories that illustrate the strength, power, and trustworthiness of God. Although amazing stories, we must still guard ourselves with an awareness that even stories of suffering, that point to God’s faithfulness, can become an idol.
Walking through fire unharmed can never be the reason behind why we trust God, although sometimes it’s the vehicle that gets us there.
God’s word is very clear about our trials and suffering being something that can be used to comfort others. As we share, let us be aware of how that story, struggle, opportunity of suffering is shared and be honest with ourselves if it becomes an idol or the foundation on which our faith is built.
Elisabeth Elliot warns about sorrows becoming the center of attention, “Refuse self-pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing with power to destroy you. Turn your thoughts to Christ who has already carried your griefs and sorrows.”
If our programming or conversations look similar to that of The Voice, full of only stories of those who have overcome extenuating circumstances to get there, we may want to analyze our purpose and make sure we are sharing to encourage, not sharing to put suffering on a pedestal where it doesn’t belong.
When we put everyone in a room and ask them to share their testimony, I hope we are always found embracing the stories of those who have extreme circumstances and those who do not. Both are seen in the Bible; only the big stories are found in Hollywood.
Strategic Partnerships Consultant
CMB Gold Member