Rebecca K. Reynolds

Honest Company for the Journey

Pressure to be O.K.

When Christians are suffering, well-meaning friends sometimes urge them to repress their feelings and embrace peace. However, the goal of emotional detachment is borrowed more from Eastern religions than from Christianity.

We certainly don't see this model in Jesus. Jesus felt intensely, and he was honest about his anguish. His path of obedience to His father did not deny feelings but went through them.

Tim Keller writes:

"In Christianity there is no diminution of sensitivity, but a mellowing of the soul in totally enduring suffering.” Again, we see this in Jesus himself. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow even to the point of death” (Mark 14: 34) and his anguish was such that his bloody sweat fell to the ground as he prayed (Luke 22: 44). He was the opposite of tranquility. He did not detach his heart from the good things of life to achieve inner calm but instead said to his Father, “Not my will but thine be done” (Mark 14: 36)."

1. If you are suffering, do you feel like you have room from the Christian community to be in anguish? If you feel overwhelmed and sorrowful to the point of death, can you be honest about that?

2. What about that next step of resignation that Jesus models for us? Are you attempting to medicate your anguish by earthly remedies (chemical substances, relationships, shopping, zoning out on the internet, etc.), or are you you kneeling in full honest pain before God and crying out, "Not my will but thine be done?"

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Painting: "Gethsemane" by Albert Bloch (1948)