Suffering is Different for Everyone II

Suffering is Different for Everyone II


blm860519Considering that the purpose of this life is not to accumulate as many worldly goods as possible – but rather to do the things that God knows will make us happy, thereby becoming people who are more like the happy Being He is – it seems to me that the first kind of people I talked about actually have a distinct advantage over the second, more affluent kind, because the first kind tend to be more likely to accept the suffering God subjects them to (recall, for their own good) than the second kind are.  In this context, the first kind has an opportunity to take a “head start” for the next life over the second kind, because they are more willing to submit to God’s will that they endure suffering for a time.  In short, while the second kind have the opportunity to be better off materialistically, the first kind may find it somewhat easier to be better off spiritually.

A: If that’s the case, why don’t the wealthier just dump off all their money and other goods to the poorer?

B: You might have a hard time convincing them to do that.  If you were in their situation, would you?  Relatively few people seem to believe that it’s better to be well off spiritually than it is to be well off materialistically.  Furthermore, it’s not as if wealthy people can’t accept suffering, simply because they’re wealthy.  It’s just that it may be, in general, more difficult for them because it’s so easy for them to turn to their wealth for what they think will give them happiness whenever things go awry; whereas the poor don’t have that option – they have to simply take the full brunt of the misfortune whenever it comes their way.  But you have to remember that suffering gives us the opportunity to learn how to endure difficulty well, and the more difficulty we are able to endure well, the more we appreciate what we have, and the less it takes for us to find happiness.

Really, wealthy people may more often need help in “humbling themselves,” which is what some religious people might often call acceptance of any kind of suffering.

A (grinning): I could help them real easy.  I’ll just tell ‘em to give all their money to me!

B: Again, good luck with that.  One thing that we must consistently do to help others – which is part of loving them – is to try to understand them.  By this I mean we must try to understand what makes them the people they are.  And to do this, we must try to understand as best as possible why certain things are difficult for them.  We have to understand that while certain things may not be difficult for us, they may be hard for them, and vice versa.  This kind of thing goes for everybody.  We don’t know which life experiences have affected others significantly, and which haven’t, so that some things that seem like they should be easy are hard, and other things that seem like they should be hard are easy.  This shows that there is no place in our lives for ridiculing others for their suffering.  This is all part of understanding others.

In summary, while each of us should be willing to suffer anything and everything that God subjects us to, or that He may subject us to, then in trying to ascertain eternal truth and achieve God’s happiness, we should not try to judge in others what things should or should not be difficult, and we shouldn’t condemn them for having a difficult time with certain things.

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