Skip to main content

Trouble me

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who authored the words, "Only a man's character is the real criterion of worth." She also said, "People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built." Without experience, life builds no character - it is meaningless and hollow. We need to experience things - it is how we create, give way to new ideas, and learn from each other. Not every experience will be what we label as "rewarding" - but it can be "meaningful" if we learn from that experience! If we learn, we are likely developing something within our character that sticks with us in the long run. Character is what remains after all the "hoopla" of the experience dies down!

We have been made right with God because of our faith. So we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through our faith, Christ has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are very happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory. And we are also happy with the troubles we have. Why are we happy with troubles? Because we know that these troubles make us more patient.  And this patience is proof that we are strong. And this proof gives us hope.  And this hope will never disappoint us. We know this because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts through the Holy Spirit he gave us. (Romans 5:1-5 ERV)

Why are we happy with troubles? The average person is none too happy when troubles come their way - for troubles can make life a little haggard and hard to handle at times. I think "trouble" gets a negative "label" in life - for we think of trouble as something that gets us down, puts obstacles in our way, or mires our lives with all manner of debris we don't want to have to deal with. Trouble can merely mean we don't experience stagnancy! Troubled waters were actually good on occasion, for they stirred up the debris that needed to come to the surface and helped the one navigating the waters to be ever-vigilant. 

Trouble can be a means to a new beginning - in turning over what hasn't been exposed, it can begin to influence that which is now "out in the open". Trouble is more than being "bothered" by something or someone because it really doesn't begin to affect us until it gets at what causes us to be "bothered". I am "bothered" by a lot of things, but only a few of these things actually put me into movement in life! The same is probably true for you - either because you need to avoid the impact of that which "bothers" you, or because you need to remove it so it no longer is a "bother".

As Roosevelt implied, character isn't bought or inherited - it is "earned" through the experiences one embraces. To embrace an experience, we engage with it - we get involved in it. We aren't bystanders - this is not how character is produced. If we are to have sound character, we need to engage in the things that actually help to refine and produce solid character within us. These are the things that might be harder than we liked, longer than we'd wished to endure, and more involved than we first imagined. Yet, these are the things that will teach us to navigate well, help us to be open to new experiences that will helps us to grow even more, and move us from a place of stagnancy into a place of freshness. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Gateway closed, ears open, heart ready

We can certainly hear a lot of voices today - each representing some "cause" or "purpose" we are supposed to get our lives behind. Some are reasonable and seem to catch our attention simply because what they present seems both logical and straight-forward. Other voices are not as forth-coming in their motives, oftentimes not very logical and definitely not telling you the whole story. They simply use a technique that manipulates the crowds until they have them to the place we might call "biting on the bait". Our mailboxes are inundated with this request for "charitable contribution" one right after another; get this product now; attend this seminar to get rich quick; and get these veneers put on your teeth to change the way people perceive you. Lots of voices demanding our attention, but do we recognize its source? Jesus was most concerned with the repetitive 'voices' and 'demands' our world puts out there over and over again - vo