Posted by: Tom,

"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love: they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." --Harry Lime, “The Third Man”

Was this Orson Welles character on to something? James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." It seems that the refining that comes with trial brings out our best.

It seems to me that we spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out ways to avoid trials of any kind. Some have put forward the idea that we need to be challenged in order to grow. I believe that but I really don't think challenge is the same as trials. Maybe we need trials to bring out our absolute best.

Do we do ourselves and others a disservice by trying to avoid trials? How does management deal with this? Don't we try and manage our way to perfection?

What would happen if we turned the line into, "In 30 years the persecuted church produced ______________. While the church in North America produced _______________." If we filled in those blanks honestly would we be embarrassed?

I think Zwingli, Calvin and those persecuted by them and those persecuted for them would take exception to Harry Lime's summation. :)

That said, I tend to agree. In fact, just yesterday I clipped something of a similar sentiment, an excerpt from an interview of one of the people who work on and the NET Bible:

"I hate the word 'smoothly.' 'Lord, please make the surgery go smoothly. Let their flight overseas go smoothly.' I get to thinking, 'Since when did God ever offer us a smooth life?' The issue is not things going 'smoothly.' The issue is 'Lord, achieve your purposes. And if that means that the plane crashes or never takes off, then Lord achieve your purposes.' But I think all of us are looking for smooth lives."
- Bob Deffinbaugh, from an "author spotlight" on
Good thought.

I heard a similar quote about "safe". They were saying that we always pray for our kid's safety when we should be praying for a lot of other things for our kids.

I'm Tom. I have a wonderful wife, 4 kids, a dog, and a cat. What more could a guy want.

@Tue 24 Feb, 2009 20:16Green Banner: 24 February, 2009Green Banner Vector Graphic

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