Day 17: Pain is growth

Day 17: Pain is growth


30 days of forgiveness

Pain indicates a problem. Instantly and instinctively we know something hurts. We must find out what hurts and why. Once we diagnose the problem and it’s cause, we take action to begin the healing process.

Healing is not without its own pain yet over time pain subsides. If it doesn’t then we seek solutions from someone with far more knowledge and wisdom than we have, usually a doctor.

The purpose of pain
Pain is part of the human experience. Pain is either a teacher or a torturer. It’s a teacher when I learn from my mistakes and apply lessons learned. It’s a torturer when I refuse to learn and insist I know what’s best.

Pain is growth because you learn how to prune what is not fruitful or productive. Pruning increases the right yield in us. We receive wisdom–sometimes beyond our years and experience–compassion, love and a much greater understanding of who we are and Whose we are.

Growth pains
My son is about 6’ 2” tall and still growing. When he started to shoot up he was in pain. It was joint and muscle pains usually accompanied by headaches, an increase in appetite and need to sleep much more.

He begged me to take him to the doctor but I knew exactly what was going on. He was experiencing growth pain. He shot up from 4’ 9” to 5’ 10” within 12 months. By the time he was 14.5 years old he was 6’ tall.

I remember giving him Tylenol for pain and just wishing I could make him feel better. However, I also knew that for him to grow, pain is part of the calculus. I cannot stop it.

Pain brings growth and maturity
Pain is growth. I could either waste my pain and learn nothing or leverage my pain and learn a valuable lesson. When I forgive, something inside me is figuring out that forgiveness releases my creative juices and suppresses my appetite for revenge.

Pain happens if I want spiritual and emotional maturity. When I make the decision to grow up and live life on life’s terms, growth pains are inevitable.

At my first retreat I said I wanted strength. At another retreat I said I wanted a victorious Christian life. I had no idea I was asking for more pain. God answered those prayers. I had to persevere and overcome adversity. I made stupid decisions and learned from them.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. When I was little, I learned quickly that when I fell, it hurt. When I put my hand in fire I got burned. When I got in trouble there were consequences.

Points to ponder
What hurts? What happened and why? What are you willing to do so pain is either severely reduced or eliminated? Will you forgive the offender, yourself? Who can you reason things out with today?

Posts in this series
Day 1: Pushing past the pain
Day 2: Stop feeling anger
Day 3: The Lord’s Prayer
Day 4: Detachment
Day 5: Grant a pardon
Day 6: Mercy
Day 7: Release
Day 8: Yield
Day 9: Give up resentment
Day 10: Sacrifice
Day 11: Ascribe
Day 12: Surrender
Day 13: No shame, no blame
Day 14: Awareness
Day 15: Acceptance
Day 16: Action
Day 17: Pain is growth
Day 18: Grace
Day 19: Emotional and spiritual maturity
Day 20: Compassion
Day 21: Don’t give up
Day 22: The house Love built
Day 23: Let the healing begin
Day 24: Freedom
Day 25: Trust God
Day 26: Believe
Day 27: Think positive
Day 28: Restoration
Day 29: My family legacy
Day 30: It’s worth it
Podcast: A little background on Forgiveness series

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