Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Hypothetically, if you are going through a painful situation:

  • Is it because God is trying to grow you/redirect you?
  • Or is it a result of sinful actions?
share|improve this question
1  
Hi Nilesh and welcome to our Q&A site! The question is interesting, but it verges a bit close to asking for pastoral advice in my opinion. There are lot's of individual details that make it difficult to provide a general answer. It might help if you specified which Christian tradition you are interested in finding out about. –  Jon Ericson Jan 8 '13 at 23:47
1  
@NileshTailor: there is no one answer to that and no one alive can ever know that. –  Greg McNulty Jan 10 '13 at 2:14
    
And what about those who are born with a painful congenital condition? –  Gin Gordon Feb 26 at 19:11
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In his book, Secrets of the Vine (based on John 15), Bruce Wilkinson addresses this very question.

In both situations, there is pain, so the presence of pain does not necessarily mean one is under God's discipline, although it could.

The key thing is to examine one's life to see if there is any unconfessed sin and to ask God to reveal that. One could also discuss it with a close friend or pastor to see if there is anything that other people have noticed. If one is honest and there is nothing that God reveals, then it may be that the issue is purely one of growth.

Bruce Wilkinson distinguishes between the two by indicating that whenever there is pain because of sin, the pain continues until the person stops sinning. However, if it is purely a matter of growth, the pain will continue until God has finished His work.

share|improve this answer
2  
Hmm, I need to read that book again. Its actually one of my favorite books but I guess I missed that part. –  Nilesh Tailor Jan 9 '13 at 21:32
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.