Effects of Suffering on the Society and Believer


Suffering can tremendously affect both the individual and the society. When a group of people suffers, there is a corresponding effect on the suffering society. South Africans for instance were very useful to their suffering society during the apartheid period. The church was very instrumental in providing solace for the suffering masses. The role of religious leaders like Desmond Tutu cannot be underestimated.


Foxe (1989) gives an incredible account of Christians who had suffered at various stages in history. Notable examples such as the ten persecutions, that of the Goths and Vandals and persecutions of countless individuals are highlighted. However, the time frame is limited from the apostolic age to the sixteenth century. The point worth noting is that the account of these martyrs is a source of inspiration to Christians suffering elsewhere.

Paradoxically, “suffering is ‘willed by God'” (Rahner 1990, 490). This was the case with Jesus, who positively accepted his sufferings and transformed them into an expression of man’s total dedication to God. It is incontrovertible that in spite of all the suffering she was subjected to, Madam Guyon’s faith remained unwavering and discharged her Christian life with dedication. Today, her true life story is a source of comfort to other persecuted Christians. A chapter in her autobiography is appropriately labeled God’s hand in affliction. The text generally challenges Christians to develop strong faith, hear God’s voice and overcome suffering in times of adversity. She really understands suffering as preparation for offering comfort to others. She has this in mind when she states: “I am fully persuaded of His purposes toward you for the sanctification of others as well as for your own sanctification” (Guyon 1997, 7).

Joni Eareckson initially had a very difficult time to overcome bitterness, confusion, violent questionings, and tears and learn to trust God who allowed certain things to happen in her life. Her suffering indeed affected every area in her life. Like every other normal person, she asked “why God…why are you doing this?” (33). After receiving God’s comfort she was in a position to meaningful say, “I understood why Paul could ‘rejoice in suffering; why James could ‘welcome trials as friends; and why Peter did ‘not think it strange in the testing of your faith'” (226). Towards the end of her emotional classic, she testimonially noted thus:
Circumstances have been placed in my life for the purpose of cultivating my character and conforming me to reflect Christ like qualities. And there is another purpose. Second Corinthians 1:3-7 explains it in terms of our being able to comfort others facing the same kind of trials” (Eareckson 1976, 227).

The spiritual principles that she has absorbed are relevant to every Christian, particularly those who find it extremely difficult to accept their life circumstance.

Suffering has tremendous effects on the society as a whole. A case in point is the situation in Sierra Leone. In a special weekly edition of the duration of the fifty-ninth session of the commission on human rights held in Geneva from 17 March-25 April 2003, it was observed that children were among the most affected during the recent civil war period in Sierra Leone. Throughout the war, children suffered all forms of physical, mental and sexual abuse, including abduction, sexual exploitation, and separation from their families. Some children were used for forced labour in diamond mining. Many others were targets for forced conscription into the war by both rebel groups and government-allied militias.

Christian leaders are facing several challenges which the country must face as it aims to reintegrate its former child soldiers. Many of these children return to their former lives without education or jobs. Many more are still working in the diamond mining pits. Work still remains in returning the remaining displaced children to their places of origin, improving education, shelter and support services for orphan children and rehabilitating those children who were forced into committing acts of violence and crime.

Women are still suffering the effects of abuse from war. During the war, women of all ages were subjected to a wide range of abuses including abduction, systematic rape, sexual slavery, and enforced pregnancy. Sexual abuse was rampant during the war and was used primarily by the rebel forces as a weapon to terrorize, humiliate and force the civilian population into submission. The techniques employed by the rebels were severe, ranging from torture to forced incest. Needless to say, the lingering psychological and physical harm still remains, as formerly abused women must now deal with unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and social ostracism. Much work needs to be done to provide health care and support services to orphaned and abandoned children and their mothers. Additionally, these women are culturally humiliated and ostracized due to their experiences and are therefore unable to reintegrate back into mainstream society. The plight of these women is being improved by religious and humanitarian organizations by providing increased counseling services as well as offering educational and vocational training. Several reports have indicated that an environment of impunity has led to the ineffective investigation, prosecution and punishment of those responsible for the war-related gender-based violence and abuse. In the interests of criminal justice, greater measures need to be taken to ensure that these criminals are tried and punished accordingly. The church is very instrumental in work of restoring the lives of those who suffered the tragedies of the war, particularly refugees, women and children.
Nkwoemozie (1998) concludes that several experiences such as suffering, trials, bitter disappointments, heartaches and loss are all part of a Christian’s life here on earth. They are viewed as part of one’s training for service. The relevant question he asks is, “how else would he be able to understand, pity and comfort others?” (70). He argues that a doctor could not be trusted with the lives of patients without hard studies and years of practice.


Robert Murray McCheyne, a Scottish minister of the nineteenth century is quoted of saying that “there is a great want about all Christians who have not suffered. Some flowers must be broken or bruised before they emit any fragrance” (Blanchard 1986, 315). In other words, it is in the interest of the Christian to suffer in order to exude pleasant smell.

Suffering enables the believer to sense God’s presence in impossible situations in life. In the illustration titled Footprints in the sand, God’s reply to the Christian who felt abandoned during periods of intense suffering was that His abiding presence was strongly manifested during the difficult scenes in his life. This point is echoed by Harris’ assertion that
the only answer that biblical faith provides to the problem of human suffering is the presence of One who shares human suffering, who bears its unbearable consequences, who makes a conquest of its causes from within… The New Testament’s response to human suffering is not a theoretical response; it is a matter of Christian praxis, and as such the foundation of and paradigm for all Christian ethics” (1986, 134).

Paul appears to support the notion that “it is possible to share with another the encouragement received in the midst of one’s trouble” (Carson, France and Motyer 1994, 1192). It is painfully true that Christians are “pledged to a career or vacation of suffering since members of the body must be conformed to the head” (Douglas 1982, 1148). In other words, “there is an excellent motive for bearing unjust suffering well; believers are called to do this, for in this way they are following the example of their Saviour, who did no wrong, but was crucified” (Morris 1990,316).

Since the real brilliance of heaven’s stars is never seen until earth’s lights go out, “one of the greatest (effects of sufferings) for the Christian is that they draw him closer to God” (Purkiser 1970,31). People probably lean hard on the all-sufficiency of God when theirs fail.

Although considerable evidence exists to prove that a lot has been written on suffering, a major weakness in most of the materials reviewed reveal that the concept of suffering as discussed by Paul in the selected passage has not been thoroughly discussed. The researcher therefore is challenged to undertake this study to meaningfully explain or revamp the Pauline position of suffering which, though alive in the early church, is moribund in contemporary Christianity.


Blanchard, John. 1986. More Gathered gold : a Treasury of Quotations for Christians. Welwyn :

Evangelical Press.

Douglas, J.D, ed. 1982. New Bible Dictionary. 2nd ed. Inter-Varsity Press.

Eareckson, Joni. 1976. Joni. Grand Rapids, Michigan : Zondervan Publishing House.

Foxe, John. 1989. Christian Martyrs of the World. Uhrichville, Ohio : Barbour and Co., Inc.

Guyon, Jeanne. 1997. Jeanne Guyon : An Autobiography. New Kensington, Pasadena : Whitaker House.

Morris, Leon. 1990. New Testament Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan :Academie Books.
Nkwoemezie, John. 1998. Suffering : Biblical Perspective. Onitsha : George-Mary Press and Publishers Ltd.

Purkiser,W.T. 1970. When You Get to the End of Yourself. Kansas City, Missouri : Beacon Hill Press.

Rahner, Karl and Herbert Vorgrimler. 1990. Dictionary of Theology. 2nd ed. New York : The Crossroad

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Effects of Suffering on the Society and Believer

woman teachers And Sexual Misconduct Addressed In world most suitable Play

Playwright Linda Felton Steinbaum turned into so intrigued with the push of woman instructors charged with sexual misconduct against their male students that she became moved to write a play, Mustang Sally, addressing the manifold problems and inequities of the fashion. The instances are nearly too severa to list,” says Linda. “what is even extra sudden is how younger loads of the sufferers are. most of us expect that if a lady trainer ‘falls’ for an underage boy, he ought to be very mature and near adulthood. now not so. pretty, the majority of these teens are still gangly, awkward youngsters.”right here are some of the cases that stuck the playwright’s eye – all are instructors; Lakina Stutts, age forty with a 14 yr antique scholar, Deana Bobo 37, intercourse with 14 year old, Mary Kay Letourneau became 34 when she had sex with a 12 12 months vintage, Bethany Sherrill 24 with 14 yr antique, Kelly Lynn Dalecki 28 with 13 yr antique boy, Sherry Brians forty one– with a 12 yr old, Pamela Turner 27 — 13 yr vintage boy, Susan Eble 35 — 14 12 months antique, Tara Lynn Crisp 29 — 14 12 months antique Laura Lynn Findlay, Carol Flannigan 50 — eleven 12 months vintage former student, Moan Marie Sladky, and permit’s now not forget about notorious Debra LaFave, the 25 yr old blond bombshell trainer of Tampa, FLA, who pleaded guilty to having intercourse with a 14 yr antique boy. The listing is going on and on.Forensic psychologist Louis B. Schlesinger at the loo Jay college of criminal Justice in new york, is quoted in a Fox information story, “Older girls involved with underage men is nothing new. this is been taking place many, many, a few years. the general view is that it is a right of passage… the guy is lucky. a few grownup women and men are attracted to teens,” said Schlesinger. “those are teachers with boundary troubles. Their boundaries are very fluid.” (article written via Catherine Donalson-Evans, posted 12 Feb, 2005)”still, it is a criminal offense if the boy is underage,” says Linda, “even if the intercourse is consensual.” She goes on to mention that those boys are regularly stressed with the aid of messages they see in movies, tv and the media. And the repetitive tacit message is that this – if they may be supplied sex, particularly from an authority parent, they must submit, whether they need it or no longer, to comply and additionally show their masculinity. Many young boys can be physically geared up but no longer emotionally geared up for an intimate sexual dating.””I researched this subject matter exhaustively,” says Linda, “and have achieved my best to provide a normal case of woman instructors worried with sexual misconduct (statutory rape) with male minors inside the play. The psychological time period for the situation is ‘hebophilia’, that is sexual enchantment to youth, or postpubescent minors. it’s occurring more frequently than you may think, and it disturbs me that this may be lightly laughed off by means of society. We want to protect our sons in addition to our daughters. What message are we sending other lady instructors who may locate themselves ‘attracted’ to their younger male college students whilst men convicted of statutory rape are sentenced to 10 or more years in jail at the same time as women offenders normally get probation or house arrest?”As Matthew Felling, media director of the center for Media and Public Affairs said, ‘the main dichotomy is in insurance – guys are demonized, women are recognized. guys are beasts, but ladies are afflicted, or mentally sick.”The play, Mustang Sally, has attracted pinnacle theatrical director Arturo Castillo to helm the undertaking. Arturo has directed suggests in lots of massive fairness venues including the countrywide Theatre in London. As manufacturer, i can say we’re very excited to have a director of Arturo’s quality committed to this production. i’ve labored with Arturo before and, like me, he most effective commits to massive works that spotlight fact or disclose a actual need in society. for info, go to mustangsallytheplay.com or myspace.com/mustangsallytheplay.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on woman teachers And Sexual Misconduct Addressed In world most suitable Play