In an effort to connect and understand my husband better, (I’m pretty sure he wants me to read this to apply it to my own life more often), I’m reading Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Reading Stephen Covey I am getting irritated at the notion that you can somehow feel pain and choose to react to it positively.
I get that some point in the future you can form all bad experienced into a learning or teaching opportunity, but after the moment or pain, physical, mental or emotional, you are perfectly justified–required in some cases–in feeling it. You do not have to, nor do I think God would see it as positive or healthy to deny a immediate negative reaction to pain.
While you may be able to control your response to pain, you will still feel it and that is okay!
Mourning, getting angry at people, even loved ones, being weary or fatigued by physical trauma and reacting to these things in a way that doesn’t profit business or even relationships can be righteous.
Jesus wept when Lazarus died, even knowing he was alive and that He could bring him back. He felt disappointed by Peter before he even betrayed him and called him out on it. He cried out in pain when he was in Gethsemane. He even cried out to his father for abandoning him on Calvary.
If Jesus did it, and he was perfect, you can do it and not feel broken or wrong.
I’m not saying there is no value in self control. I am not advocating overreaction. I’m saying there is value in your reaction to pain. God does not expect you to have a positive attitude while being imprisoned or tortured, spiritually or physically. Jesus didn’t. He was real about it. He felt his pain, cried out at his father. He was so angry at money changers in the temple he took the time to braid his own whip and then used it. There is a time for all things. Even feeling bad, angry, depressed or heartbroken. After all: The Son of Man hath descended below these all. Art thou greater than he?