Suffering Is Not A Blessing

Suffering Is Not A Blessing June 17, 2020

photo credit: Camila Quintero Franco via Unsplash

The last few days has sent my brain into hyperdrive.

One of the thoughts that emerged was that Christians have to better wrestle with theology related to blessing & suffering. I know there are folk out there doing this work but we need resources to stop finding blessing in suffering.

There’s a difference between saying “this terrible thing happened. It revealed things that taught & changed us” and “this terrible thing happened but it was a gift because we got something out of it”.

Much of our collective thought relies on the later & it’s time that change.

Whether Christians are talking about suffering we see in the Bible, suffering we see in history, suffering we bear witnesses to or even go through ourselves, we can reject thoughts saying that violence and the trauma steming from it is or leads to divine gift(s).

Suffering is not blessing, it is an indicator that something is deeply wrong and needs to change. Redemption and utility shouldn’t be found there but its adjacency to the change, education, and revelation that come when it is alleviated or uncovered has obscured all that for us.

This post is speaking about somewhat normative connections people make between suffering & blessing.

Lou Giglio recently reframing white privilege as white blessing was not a verbal gaffe but admission of devotion to a white supremacist god who gifts white folks while subjugating others.

It’s important that we deal with beliefs in the tradition that thether us to a God who is a sadist or a white supremacist. Who we believe in will inform what we believe we have a responsibility to do to disrupt violence or address the pain we witness and experience in the world.

Whether it’s happening to us, is happening to others, or it happened in the past, we need to scream from the rooftops that someone’s #SufferingIsNotABlessing.


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