Friday, January 1, 2016

Patience My Ass

Job is the paragon of patience in the Bible. (see; James 5:11 KJV) What a joke! Job whines, bitches, and bellyaches with the best of them. He curses the day he was born in chapter 3 (starting with verse 3) and carries on through chapter 30 verses 20-21 (I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not. Thou art cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me). Understand, I have no problem with Job's reaction to losing all he's got (including his health). What I have a problem with is the superficial depiction (ie, "the patience of Job") that persists to this day about Job's true response. Unrealistic, suggested superhuman endurance in the face of abject adversity lends itself to self-condemnation and, possibly, self-loathing. Do not do this to yourself.

As I have said in other posts, honor your initial reaction to the events in your life. If you need to rage, rage! If you need to curl up in a little ball and cry like a baby, do so. If you wish to denounce God, by all means have at it ('Thou art cruel to me'). What I ask you not to do, is decide that this is all there is. That the story ends with you overwhelmed, victimized, beaten. That is not your destiny. Nor is it what the story of Job illustrates. Even after his endless kvetching, Job is restored, and more. (42:12) That is the moral of the story, not Job's patience. After tragedy or catastrophe, let it be your story as well.

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