Jesus’ half brother James states in his book to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” Why? Because it produces patience, makes you complete and perfect, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4) Isn’t that the end desire for all of us? To be patient, complete and lacking nothing? That’s exactly the type of material that we fervently publish and relentlessly read. Yet so much of our time is spent sharing with others all the wrong things that were done to us.
On the outside, you would consider me a very happy and successful person. Yet you won’t know the challenges and struggles that made me that way. You only see how I have chosen to deal with these situations. If challenges are opportunities, if the path to success is through failure, then why do we wallow in self pity? It takes maturity and accountability. There were times when I recounted my “poor me” situations for years to anyone who would listen. What a terrible waste of time and energy.
At least half of the failures and heartaches I went through were due to my own lack of strength, discipline, or willingness to follow my conscience. The other half were situations meant to teach me some vital lessons about life here on earth. As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones used to say, “Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so that you can be all that you were intended to be.” And yes, even things that go wrong are due to my own shortcomings.
I embrace my battle scars because I know sometime in the future, I’m going to cross paths with someone going through the exact same thing and I just might be able to impart some compassion or insights to them. It’s not about me; it’s about using what I’ve been through to help others and for me to grow as an individual. No one is ever successful being a victim. But if you look at your trials as a godsend, I guarantee you sometime in the future you’ll be a positive impact to someone who desperately needs it, including yourself.
Until then, don’t broadcast your problems, don’t fire off an email to the entire company telling them how horrible they are when you quit, and don’t tell people how hard you’ve had it. Focus on what you’ve learned and how it’s positively impacted your life and you’ll be well on your way to a more patient and complete life that’s lacking nothing.