I used to think that people living in developed nations were wimps when they talked about their problems. A third of the world is wondering how they will get enough food to survive the week, and we are talking about how hard our life is because our car is breaking down.
Oh, wait, my car did actually break down on me last week. I used to think, “Our problems are nothing compared to the rest of the world.” That may still be true from a certain perspective. That doesn’t mean that we don’t still have problems.
Even here, in America, people get murdered, die from rampant illness or a disease. Families are broken here. People do suffer here.
I still do think Christians shouldn’t try to pass off the suffering that comes with being human as “suffering for Christ”. There is suffering that comes distinctly to believers, but there is just plain suffering too. I don’t think my recent car woes were because I am a Christian; I’m pretty sure that nonchristians have had their cars break down.
Mostly, I’ve changed my position about who experiences “the most suffering” or who should be most able to say that their life is tough, because it seems wrong to belittle anyone’s legitimate pain. And who am I to make the call?
According to Strength Finders 2.0, one of my five strenghts is emphathy. I don’t think that my empathy always turns into the emotion of sympathy. But just know that I do understand.