Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pain, a catalyst for Growth

So many times people have told me "pain is necessary", "you have to go through stuff in order to grow". At the time when you're feeling the pain, those statements are really, really hard to believe. The last thing you want to hear when you're hurting, is that the hurt is necessary.

However, one day, after you have gone through it all you'll realise how much you've changed because of what you went through. You'll realise that your standards may be set higher to avoid further disappointment, or you avoid doing certain things or going certain places for self preservation.

Have you ever been around a baby who's in the teething stage. They experience incredible pain and some babies even develop fevers. They chew on their tongues, fingers or whatever they can find to ease the discomfort, but pretty soon, a brand new set of teeth develop and they can move on to the solid foods that their bodies now require to continue growing.

Our Spirits are the same. In the early days of our Christianity we're shielded and protected from serious harm. We're fed spiritual milk and slowly the growing pains start. Situations around us become difficult and we get tested. With each situation, the aim is to push us toward growth. In the future, the pain we experienced serves as a reminder. "Don't go down that path again" our consciences will tell us. Our hearts will tell us, "remember you got hurt severely when you did things this way". That reminder helps us make wiser decisions and become better people.

That's when you realise that all those people were actually right. Your pain really is a catalyst for growth, but only if you learn the lessons that it came to teach you.

As a young adult I had a really short temper. I was also very defensive and would lash out at any one who would dare to hurl an insult or say anything to offend me. Recently, I had an experience where a co-worker deliberately and blatantly made statements to destroy my character and reputation. Today, I sat back and examined my response and I realise just how much I have actually grown. I didn't react angrily, I didn't even respond. I didn't pray for God to hurt him, I just let it slide. All those years of pain from the backlash of my angry responses have taught me to hold my tongue and let God sort out my troubles. And finally, after many years, my pain has made me develop a new reflex, I now keep silent in the face of insults.

Don't go through pain in vain, let it bring change and transformation to your life. Let it push you to grow, for growth is its purpose. 

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