I’ve got friends in low places . . .

Hey, I’ve got a question again.

How do we feel about the “it could be worse” gospel? I think I have sufficiently recovered from the “Prosperity” gospel (you know, follow Christ and all will be well and you’ll get to drive a mercedes) so now I’m struggling with the “it could be worse” gospel.

You know, the “country music song” gospel: “My house burnt down, my dog got shot, I lost my job but at least I have you” gospel. Thanks a lot, God.

The conversation goes like this:

Joe Suffering: “Yikes. I’ve got no money, gotta pay a sitter so I can work, bills aren’t paid and I think I may be crazy. Certifiably crazy. ”

Joe “Canvas Shoe Christian”: “Well, don’t worry, God is with you. And, hey, it could be worse. You could be living in Afghanistan and have to wear a burkha.”

And while that may be true, it could always be worse and I, trapped here in my version of insanity, do not find that comforting.

Go figure.

5 responses to “I’ve got friends in low places . . .”

  1. I have to agree. “It could be worse” is in effect a form of denial. It’s like saying, “so you got terminal cancer, hey, it could be worse, you could be be a poor Sudanese refugee.” Well, either way, it sucks. I’ll have to ask the Greatest Mac of all time about this some more.

  2. yea…i’m not a fan of “it could be worse.” people need to stop saying that crap. who wants to hear it? if someone is having a problem, they want empathy, not a “you shouldn’t feel bad because other people feel worse.” how do they know if other people feel worse? Ms. Afghanistan Burkha could be perfectly happy completely visually hidden from the world. if you want my opinion, its just an excuse to keep from really listening to the person, and taking the effort to care.

  3. I like that. “Ms. Afghanistan Burkha.”

    Empathy is right. Can we deal with the poopiness without sugarcoating it or brushing it under a rug? and doesn’t the refusal to deal or sit with sorrow give the lie to Gethsemane? I mean would you say to Christ, “So you’re gettin’ strung up tomorrow; it could be worse. You could be. . .I don’t know, but it could be!”

    I don’t think so.

  4. I know this whole debate is hard, but . . .
    it could be worse.

    Is it really an either or question. I think grieving is one the most undertaught concept in the church. When’s the last time someone got up and said, “Now get out there and wail, people. We need more belivers out there crying with people” But we are instructed to mourn with those who mourn.

    I could never understand the professional mourner thing thast they did in the day. But I’m sure we all find it hard to emotionally let it all hang out on the down side and having people ther creating a grief friendly environmwent was probably quite helpful to those who suffered the loss.

    I have books with good sections on how to deal with sadness. You are welcome to read them.


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