Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
I saw a phrase the other day that went something like this, “Nobody knows the pain others are going through, so be nice. It’s that simple.”
At first glance that sounds profound. It has so much meaning and sentiment and it is so easy to understand. But I think it is evidence of the victim mentality of the millennial generation.
The reason it resonates is because so many see themselves in it. Almost everyone has some sort of pain. Most of them have pain that is hidden from the eyes of others. They embrace this phrase because they only wish they could let others know of their pain.
Here we have the first fallacy – “No one knows my pain.”
This can’t be true if most people know some pain of their own. It is selfish, self-centered and arrogant to think we are the only ones with pain. But pain does that. Pain, if given place, will rule is, draw us in and make us to fixate on self. Pain, if given rule, will make us see ourselves as victims.
Our first response to pain must be to reject the very idea that no one knows, no one identifies, no one cares. We must no yield to the victim roll. We must force our eyes outward and see that we are all in this same boat. Our circumstances may not be identical, but we are not alone.
Then we must see that the people who do best in life are the ones who move forward despite pain.
- George Washington
- George Patton
- George Bush
Name whomever you wish who has succeeded in whichever field you wish and realize they got where they are despite their pain. They refused to let pain rule them.
“So be nice.” Here we have the second fallacy.
Of course we ought to be nice. It’s a simple concept that simply ought to be practiced. The problem is that the millennial defines “be nice” as “agree with me.”
- Is it nice for a doctor, who knows his patient is ill, to tell him otherwise?
- Is it nice for a teacher, who knows his student has not mastered the subject to graduate him anyway?
- Is it nice for the Christian, who knows that one cannot go to heaven without Jesus, to keep back the gospel?
- Is it nice for a friend, who sees the damage someone’s selfishness is doing them to smile and say nothing?
Sometimes the nicest thing we can do is be truthful. We don’t have to be mean spirited or angry. But out of genuine kindness, we really must be blunt.
Nothing good will come from letting pain rule us. Yield to God’s Spirit and bring the pain into submission.
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Proverbs 27:17 Victim Mentality
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