Protestant Struggles

“If you don’t get any pleasure out of it, quit.”


“Seriously. If it’s not giving you anything but angst and annoyance, get out.”

“You can’t mean that. Isn’t meaning discoverable through suffering?”

“What Golgotha were YOU raised on? Wait. I know you. You weren’t raised Jewish or Catholic. Hang on, that’s not guilt you’re talking about. You’re talking about pain.”

“No I’m not. I’m talking about doing the right thing, no matter the cost.”

“Since you’re already biased toward the belief that something difficult and painful is intrinsically more valuable than something that is easy and pleasurable, you’re ALWAYS going to think the ‘right thing’ is the difficult, painful thing.”

“No. That’s just reality.”

“Uh, no it isn’t. Even your Bible doesn’t support that.”

MY Bible?”

“Sure. You were raised on it. Think about it. It’s all telling you to ‘consider the lilies of the field’ . Seriously. You need to figure this out before it’s too late.”

“Too late?”

“Yeah, like you’re DEAD?”

Matthew 6:28-32, 34Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

28 And of clothing what be ye busy? Behold the lilies of the field…They travail not, neither they spin;

29 and I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not covered as one of these.

31 Therefore do not ye be busy, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what thing shall we be covered [or, With what shall we be covered]?

32 Your Father knoweth, that ye have need to all these things.

34 Therefore do not ye be busy into the morrow, for the morrow shall be busy to itself; for it sufficeth to the day his own malice.



4 thoughts on “Protestant Struggles

  1. I was lost, but now I’ve found you again, Martha; and I don’t intend to get lost again. This post read as though you had captured the inner dialogue in my head (without the beauty of the scripture). Since I retired, I have slowly developed the strength to give myself permission to prefer the pleasant over the difficult when given a choice. I’m gradually losing my sense that I have to work hard, suffer a little, tackle things to earn the respite of a good book, bird watching, or a walk. This is my long winded way of saying I related to your words.

    • I’ve become more aware how much my sense of self has been formed by the way I was raised (very Baptist). I don’t have any religious affiliation now. My reaction to the word “Pleasure” as the daily prompt was pure Protestant; it came across to me as almost a dirty word (and I don’t think any words are dirty words). That made me think about WHY I’d react like that. That’s how this dialogue came into being. 🙂

  2. I’ve never wanted to be punished or miserable but often times I feel that I’m being punished for life being such a bitch. I’ve never felt completely happy but that is not a religious thing. It’s a mental thing, I think.

    Your article is good food for thought.

    • I’ve only lately come to understand how my upbringing (which was very religious, very Protestant) affected my idea of how I should live life. I think there’s something to be said for understanding that life is sometimes hard to bear, but I don’t think there’s anything to be said for believing it SHOULD be that way. I have had the mental thing, too. It’s different. But I’ve only started to figure this out so we’ll see how it evolves.

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