Philosophy of Pain

Pain is a difficult issue to consider. Nobody wants to experience it and for the most part we don’t want to think about it, either. But pain is a part of life and I suspect it is an important part of God’s good interactions with humanity. If you didn’t hear me right the first time, let me emphasize that. I suspect pain is a tool of God, with good purposes, rather than merely a byproduct of the fall.

Think for a minute about the ways that pain affects you. A minor pain will draw one’s attention to things they otherwise might not notice. A minor pain on my nose allowed me to notice and have a skin cancer removed before it became a bigger problem. An intermediate pain will prompt a change of behavior, such as the proverbial child touching the stove. A severe pain will cause one to seek immediate help. And the most severe pains will shut down all other activities while the body heals.

Likely, many of us tend to think of pain only in its negative context. I understand that since the most obvious aspect of pain is that it hurts! But, if we only think of pain as a negative, we will miss one of the ways God is leading us forward. In the process of leading us toward maturity He will need to evoke every level of response listed above during the course of our lives. This is one of the many ways that God works for good whatever the devil intends for evil.

So as you move forward look at your pain as an opportunity. It might be calling your attention to a small problem before it becomes a big problem. It might be reshaping your patterns into more Christ-like behavior. It might be signaling the need to seek help from other believers. Or it might be motivating a time of retreat where you can spend time alone with God.

So what do you think about pain?

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2 thoughts on “Philosophy of Pain

  1. Charles, these were good words to ponder. I definitely know that God uses pain to help us mature and grow. I also think children need to feel pain in their disciplines. When America abandoned spanking and other disciplines, we took the pain and uncomfortableness out of their punishment experience. I do not endorse abuse of any kind, but a healthy whack on the bottom when I was growing up gave me a sense of pain to the road of discipline, change and maturity. When we punished my 16 year old, we took away all his games.We had to look for disciplines that would cause pain and work. He felt the pain. The time-out method of discipline brings no pain to the disobedient child. God disciplines us, his children, it is the pain we suffer that helps us grow.

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