“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Some of us have suffered tremendously. Others not so much, at least not comparably. But do we ever ask ourselves how much suffering we’ve caused others? Have we left a trail of casualties littering the landscape behind us as we move forward? Though many speak well of us, are there some who think we are one of the cruelest people in the world, negligent, naive, or else one of the biggest hypocrites?
Biting remarks, lack of sensitivity, failure to seek forgiveness, neglect of those closest to us, an over-arching blindness to our own sins and the ability to point them out in others, are all examples of things that induce suffering.
Life is hard, even for believers. Jesus said that we have trouble in this world. The thing is, for those of us who seek to follow on the heels of Jesus, we need to take care that we are not adding to the trouble. We must overcome evil with good and reconcile with those we hurt–if possible.
May we not add to the evil or trouble already in the world. May we not be stubborn or hard hearted, or as the Exodus says, “stiff-necked.” Let us stop blaming others and accept responsiblity for our part in others’ suffering.