Two Men – Different Reactions
For reading & meditation – 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
“… ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'” (v. 9)
We must spend another day examining this very important issue of why it is that some non-Christians seem to respond better to life’s problems than many Christians. Just recently I heard of two different people whose business ventures collapsed. One was a Christian and the other an agnostic. The agnostic responded to the situation by saying, “I cannot determine what happens to me, but I can determine what it will do to me. It will make me better and more useful.” He struck out in another direction, and his new venture prospered to such a degree that he won an award. The Christian responded to the collapse of his business by saying, “Life is unjust. What’s the point of trying? I shall withdraw from the cutthroat world of business and concentrate on my garden.” He had to undergo some in-depth counseling before he was on his feet again, and after six months he felt strong enough to rebuild a new and now prosperous business. What can explain the different reactions of these two men? We could explain it in terms of temperament, upbringing, and so on, but there is one thing that must not be overlooked – the Christian had access to the grace of God which, if utilized, should have enabled him to view the situation even more positively than the non-Christian. As a counselor, I understand why people respond wrongly to life’s situations. However, my understanding of it does not prevent me from recognizing that the true biblical response to life’s problems is to take full advantage of the grace of God and turn every setback into a springboard.
Gracious Father, help me to respond to everything in the way a Christian should. Help me to see that not only do You lift the standard high, but You also supply the strength for me to attain it. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What does James teach us about trials?
2. What was Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians?