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Healthy Minded Christians Do Not Choose Suffering for the Sake of Suffering

There is always the accusation that Christians can be masochists.  It could be somebody who thinks that those who crucify themselves on Good Friday are Christians when they are not.  It could be Roman Catholics who laugh at born again Christians who were once part of them for converting to the truth and losing their material blessings in the process.  It could be Christians getting laughed at because they inevitably choose to suffer for their faith rather than renounce it.  This really makes it look like that Christians are choosing suffering for the the sake of suffering.

Sometimes, there is always the wrong notion of "making a sacrifice" which can go from crucifying yourself on Good Friday, shooting yourself at the foot on purpose, purposely remaining poor thinking you are more "blessed" when you are poor, purposely skipping meals to the point of starvation, eating from the trash can, drinking dirty water or any absurd act to make yourself look humble before the world.  This is simply choosing suffering for the sake of suffering.  All the actions I mentioned earlier are not examples of sacrifices that honor God.  It is not a pleasing sacrifice but rather choosing stupidity and perhaps being duped by one false doctrine after the other.  I suspect some false preachers who pretend to be pastors from God are even duping their congregation with a wrong interpretation of "blessed are the poor".

What does it mean to make a sacrifice that is pleasing to God?  You can find an example in Hebrews 10:25 which says that Moses chose to suffer affliction over enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season.  This was because Moses knew he was really a Hebrew and not an Egyptian.  He may have not been next in line to the throne but he certainly had a special office to whoever was the Pharaoh during the time he ran away from the land of Egypt.  Moses' choice was that he had to choose between the comforts of his privileged life or his people who were suffering.  He did not choose affliction for the sake of it but he chose to do what is right even if it means suffering.  In the Christian life, you do not purposely inflict suffering on yourself.  You do what is right whether or not it results to suffering.  Just because you suffer or you do not suffer does not make an action right or wrong.  It is all about doing what God says is right or wrong.

Psalm 51:17 says that the sacrifices pleasing to God are a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart.  One can go ahead and volunteer to be crucified on Good Friday after being beaten up several times, one can go ahead and remain materially poor to the point of starvation, one can go ahead and shoot one's self at the foot all in the name of making a "sacrifice" but all these are probably be best considered as an act of show business.  During the last Good Friday of this year, I really thought that the practice of crucifying one's self was nothing more than false humility.  Many who purposely inflict suffering on themselves are also in the spirit of false humility.  On the other hand, some Christians may be sleeping on a nice comfy bed and having lots of money in their bank account are still genuine and authentic about using God's provision to help others.

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