January 24: “Share Your Struggles”
(Through False Humility)
Day 24… I honestly can’t believe that I’ve made it this far without slitting my wrists. Sadly, the pages of the book you gave me do not possess the stiffness nrequired to open a vein. So, let’s just carry on with today’s review:
Verse Of The Day:“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good
conductlife…” – James 3:13 (Berean-ish)
Jesus! Once again, the author chooses to paraphrase the words of James, Paul, Proverbs, or Psalms instead of Jesus, the namesake of this book. I use the word paraphrase because I had a hard time finding this exact version of scripture in any of the translations at my disposal – until I found the Berean version (used elsewhere in this book) that differs by only one significant word: good conduct vs. good life. This may seem like a menial edit by the author, but it sets up a very different viewpoint for the day: Am I to show my wisdom by my behavior (good conduct) for which I am personally responsible, or by my circumstances (good life) that may be the result of upbringing, chance, and privilege beyond any conduct of my own?
[Geezus! I can’t believe I just wrote an entire paragraph over a single word changed by a prosperity preacher. I wouldn’t have brought it up if the author hadn’t the re-purposed this “good life” concept through the rest of the devotional. Crazy making – FML.]
Today’s Theistic Themes: Live a “good life,” but not too good. Set a good example, but not too good. In order to be a good Christian, you have to make sure others “see your limitations” as you suffer through “struggles, needs, and mistakes.” Why? So others can “appreciate the miraculous ways that God intervenes in your [good] life.”
Now that I’ve been away from the church for a few years now, it pains me to recognize just how wicked this teaching of tragedy-seeking celestial co-dependance truly is. Let me summarize it in three simple points that have been reiterated throughout this book thus far:
- Your “good life” isn’t meaningful unless you are suffering, so find some.
- You are required to find joy in this required suffering, praise be to God.
- If/when you are able to overcome this required suffering that you are expected to endure with great joy, you must not take any credit upon yourself for having the courage, tenacity, and perseverance to conquer – because your “good life” is only “good” because of He that afflicted you in the first place.
And, yes – this is exactly what today’s devotion teaches readers: Think of a struggle to share with others, but do not to ask for or accept their help. Instead, exploit and milk these “struggles” as dramatic props in your personal stage play of mock humility to show everyone around you that it’s only by the grace of God that you are even able to survive such horrible calamities in your “good life.” Of course, without any acknowledgment of the irony that the very calamities were brought upon you by God in the first place.
But I would suggest that the real harm is not being able to take (or accept) credit for your own abilities to overcome anything without God’s help. I call it co-dependence, but it’s really a case of masochism, or one of the many shades of what I refer to as selficide. “Afflict me, o’ Lord, so that I may show the world your grace by enduring the suffering that you bestow upon me that I am helpless to overcome.”
Who would teach such wickedness to a child? Not me. Well, not anymore.
Short Secular Alternative: To share your struggles with others with no interest in their empathy or assistance is just, well… whining. Or worse – bragging. If you have a need and people are willing to help, let them! If you are able to overcome adversity in your life, give some credit where credit is due – yoruself and others.
See you tomorrow to discuss cutting off your own family and friends for… Jesus,
– Horus Gilgamesh
P.S. Yep, I’m finally getting around to putting up a little tip jar. If you are a fan of this little project, be sure to check out everything else I’ve got going. (Spoiler Alert: I could use your help.)
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