There are times in where we want to over impose out experience on others. Theirs as invalid and childish and ours as more substantial basis. This attitude is constantly present when someone with a problem or a struggle comes up to a Christian brother or sister whom the fellow struggler deems mature to help in time of need.
After conveying his problem, the supposedly mature Christian is somewhat repulsed at the struggler’s condition because his or her struggle seems like chaff compared to what the ‘mature’ Christian had gone through. So begins an explanation that now diverts to the ‘mature Christian’ rather that how to help the fellow struggler. It now sounds more like “Is that what you call hardship or struggle? Wait till you hear mine. After hearing mine then you decide who has went through much and that i believe would eventually help you!” Sound more like a counseling session that has turned awry instead.
Instead of going into the direction of making the struggler feel more alienated why not consider meditating on these verses:
Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary n and lose heart.
Heb 12:4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Previously, I used to come to these verses feeling ashamed of myself because I thought the passage was telling me that Jesus’ suffering was more than that of mine and it is telling me that to forget about my struggles and direct my attention to Him. Pious as it may be, it was simply dumb to take that into consideration.
What one can gain from meditating the verses here is that you have one who struggled through life just like how you and me struggle. But yet he kept his eyes on God, in the joy of obedience to him. He went through struggles not to be defeated by it but to rise above struggles not by telling us that his suffering was greater than ours but someone who went through suffering with the utmost intention to obey God through it.
Taking these verses to light in this manner frees me from feeling guilty because i am weakened by my struggles and when my struggles are compared to Jesus’ mine feels like kids play.
Taking these verses to light in this manner make me appreciate more Jesus’ incarnation in which he felt human pain to the very core.
Taking these verses to light in this manner makes me see a different way in approaching struggles and hardship. I frees me to see the possibility of faithfully being able to follow God.
Taking these verses to light in this manner makes me see Jesus’ sole delight was to understand and live in obedience to God.
Taking these verses to light in this manner tells me that like Jesus, obedient living is not a senseless call but a vital one and the only one to follow.