Struggling Well

I think this is one of the most enlightening videos I've seen concerning learning as well as struggling.  I think the natural approach to struggle is to avoid it.  Struggling is hard, it forces us to change, and goes contrary to what we most want, which is comfort and convenience.  What we need to learn more than anything is to struggle well.  Sometimes I get into the habit of thinking that if I do a certain task, or perform in a desirable way, then I can avoid struggling. Or if I earn a certain amount of income, my struggles would be overcome.  It's hard not to dream of having all our problems, afflictions and struggles to be completely over.

Concerning the video, I think that this could completely revolutionize the way children are taught, and consequently, how we learn as a society.  Whether we want to admit it or not, we are going to struggle.  What happens after we are faced with conflict is going to help shape the way we face future problems.  If we only give each other praise when we get things right, then we will not only avoid struggle, but we'll feel as if we've failed when we do go through tough times.  If we can't immediately remedy our situation, our initial reaction will be a feeling of hopelessness instead of being ok not knowing the answers.  We could either struggle well or struggle poorly, but we will struggle.

As a Christian, its easy to lose sight of this.  I've falsely believed that all my troubles and issues will be behind me since God has saved me. I didn't want to admit to the harsh reality that struggling and afflictions are part of this life because of sin. I didn't want to listen to Jesus. In John 16:33 Jesus says "33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  He tells this to his disciples before he goes to show the greatest love, laying his life down for his friends.   How can I possibly think that struggling can be avoided, when Jesus clearly states that struggles are unavoidable, but we could have peace in him when the trials come?  How can I possibly think that simply because I'm a child of God, I can get through life without any afflictions, when Jesus was afflicted on my behalf, and didn't avoid struggle?  Jesus didn't avoid the cross, so I can't lie to myself and think I can avoid struggle.  The way that I struggle needs to change.

It isn't simply doing a better job of struggling.  It's trusting in Jesus better.  I can modify my behavior not to react a certain way in certain situations, but my heart can still be struggling poorly, letting anxiety dictate my thought patterns and affections.  I can pacify myself by thinking positive or by creating a plan that's tangible, but my heart could still be free failing into despair.  Struggling well is about trusting God more, and realizing that if he's in control, then I have nothing left to fear.

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