“Pain can be a valuable tool. It’s the all-important message alerting us to pay attention so we don’t further damage ourselves or others. Without pain, we could even cut, burn, or damage ourselves, and not know it. So where do you feel some pain? . . . Whatever the cause, pain can be sharp, sending an immediate message to our brains that something’s wrong. Other times it can be dull and we simply try to ignore or manage it.”- Bob Merritt
In Chapter 4 (“Where New Life Begins”) of Done With That, Bob Merritt talks about the need to acknowledge our pain and what it signals. Yet, some people attempt to medicate that pain with escapist habits such as overwork or exercise. However, others simply ignore the pain. But, ignoring your pain prevents you from living the new life God intends for you to live.
As a result, Pastor Merritt asserts, beginning the new life requires three steps: humility, honesty, and hard work. The author starts with the first step, humility, today.
1. Humility. Because many people view humility as a weakness, it often gets a bad rap. In reality, the opposite is true. Only the strong admit their mistakes. The weak, though, never admit their errors or their need for help.
Hence, Pastor Merritt defines humility as:
- the opposite of arrogance
- having a modest view of oneself
- a simple admission that something’s not right and that you need to address some weaknesses
- essential to getting better
In addition, if you feel anxious, angry, rarely truly happy, or spiritually dry and distant from God, these trigger points of pain represent clues to a bigger issue. Therefore, you reach a point where two choices present themselves:
- pretend nothing’s wrong, continue living with the pain, and hope it goes away
- humbly admit something’s wrong; then, with God’s help, take the first step toward a new and better life
Today’s question: How do you see pain as a valuable tool? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Reasons for success – and failure”