KEEPING THE FAITH: Fight like a butterfly

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 11:56 AM.

This is anathema to our North American ears, however, because we have constructed a society with a monumentally low threshold for pain. Sadly, such pain-aversion isn’t limited to a small subsection of our culture. It is rampant, extending from playrooms to boardrooms, as present in State Houses as in fraternity houses, and manifesting itself in everything from helicopter-parenting to fiscal irresponsibility.

When a person thinks that he or she should never, under any circumstances, suffer deprivation or discomfort, it doesn’t create character; it creates narcissism. So beware of those for whom everything has come easy; those who have never had to scrape their way through hard times. Beware of those who have always had someone else do the heavy lifting for them and protect them from any and all distress. It’s hard for such a person to have any moral strength.

I’m not advocating for self-inflicted violence. I’m only pointing to the consummate spiritual principle: There is no resurrection without a cross, no greatness without grief, and no strength apart from suffering. The struggle is a necessary process in the maturation process.

When we avoid suffering at all costs, we fail to see that such behavior will cost us everything, for if we cannot tolerate anything that hurts or discomforts us now, we will never become people of faith, character, or maturity later. With apologies to Ali, we will never “float like a butterfly” until we have learned to fight like one.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.



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