Study Guide

Galatians, Philippians, and Philemon Suffering

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No one likes to suffer.

Scratch that. No one except Paul likes to suffer. Though most people tend to avoid sticky situations where they could be beaten, arrested, or killed, Paul generally dives head first into these pickles. That's because he truly believes that suffering brings him closer to Jesus. See, Jesus suffered and died on the cross, so by facing hardships, Paul feels he can grow closer to Christ. Besides, a little suffering never killed anyone.

Um, well, except Paul, that is.

Questions About Suffering

  1. Is Paul just trying to make the best of a bad situation or does he really think suffering is a good thing?
  2. Why do you think Paul is willing to go through so much trouble to help the churches he's set up? Is it really worth all the headaches?
  3. Paul never says you should seek out suffering, but he also doesn't shy away from danger. Is there a balance here? When is it okay to avoid suffering?

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