“I hate Thee”, “I hate me”

By Dave Henning / January 16, 2014

“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, we share abundantly in comfort too.” -2 Corinthians 1: 6

In Chapter  6 of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Timothy Keller offers additional reflection on the Biblical teaching that suffering is both just and unjust.  Since part of reality is that God justly has imposed suffering on the world, we owe God everything because He created us and constantly sustains our lives.  Our reasonable response should be to love God above all things, serving Him rather that our own interests and impulses.  But we live for ourselves and we sin.

Pastor Keller emphasizes that if we ignore either truth about suffering our view of reality will be skewed.  If we forget that, in general, suffering is just, pride and resentful self-pity take over.  We may reject the goodness or even the existence of God- what the author calls the “I hate Thee” response.  On the other hand, failing to understand that suffering often is unjust may trap us in inordinate guilt and lead us to believe that God must have abandoned us- an “I hate me” response.  A balanced view of suffering keeps us on an even keel.

Today’s question: Following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, which view of suffering most characterized your response?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Our sovereign and yet suffering God”

About the author

Dave Henning

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