Do you invite pain and view it as your friend?
Do you avoid pain and view it as your enemy?
Or would you say that pain is neither your friend nor your foe, but you choose to remain neutral about pain; and view it as just a part of life?
Pain as your friend… Perpetual pain that does or doesn’t show gradual signs of improvement is sometimes perceived as a form of temporary and beneficial training. This understanding of pain can lead to increased physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength.
Pain as your enemy… Perpetual pain that does or doesn’t show any sign of improvement is sometimes perceived as a form of permanent and unyielding torture. This understanding of pain can lead to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fatigue.
Pain as a neutral… It is virtually impossible to remain neutral about pain. I could possibly remain neutral about your pain or someone else’s pain, but my pain??? My pain will demand that I decide how to categorize it.
An uncomfortable fact: We are powerless to keep pain at bay. We will all have pain in our lives.
A more comfortable truth: What is within our power is how we perceive pain and how we perceive pain will determine the outcome of it in our lives.
Does this mean we need to have a masochistic mindset where we feel pain as pleasure? I don’t think that is quite what I want to say here.
Pain is pain. Pain hurts. Pain is not pleasurable. But if we approach pain with the mindset of Christ we will be able to harness our pain and view it as more of a training exercise and less as a time of torture.
Pain has a purpose. God wants to use our pain for the ultimate good of mankind, our personal gain, and His glory. That is why the Bible instructs us to “count it all joy when you face various trials”. Our Maker is proposing that we learn how to harness our pain and use it for greater grace. Greater grace? I will take a double helping of that.
Pain can become your friend and you can be trained by it. Or pain can become your foe and you can be tortured by it. It is all in how you look at pain.
Here is the bottom-line question: Is pain torture or training? I believe the choice is up to each of us. We can personally select the desired outcome of our pain. We get to decide if pain will become our friend or our foe. I don’t know about you, but I need all the friends I can get?! I am making peace with my pain, in the name of Jesus. Amen.