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Published on March 21st, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Natural Misery vs. Man-made Misery

Dr. Jed N. Snyder

This week in South Carolina the yellow pollen from pine trees covers almost everything. Those of us who suffer allergic reactions to the pollens of various kinds keep popping antihistamines into our mouths in an attempt to alleviate the misery. This is natural misery. There are others such as the painful muscles aches that come shortly after doing some unaccustomed activity. Many pop ibuprofen or aspirin to cope with this natural misery.

There is other misery that is man-made. When two people argue vehemently one or both will be hurt. This misery is man-made. We can think of STDs that came from behavior that God in the Bible calls sin. Herpes is a virus that often stays dormant but can flair up into misery for the one who has this disease and often their husband or wife.

Moses’ warning to the tribes of Gad and Rueben can appropriately be applied to ourselves today. If we do not live up to our commitments, we will have similar regrets with misery.

But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23 (ESV)

When we make a commitment, a promise, and do not keep it, we experience misery. If you accept a mortgage from a bank, that bank can take ownership of the property if you do not keep your word and default on the loan. All of us can think of many self-made miseries. One more illustration will be enough. Have you heard the expression about eating sweets and other high-calorie foods? “A second on your lips and forever on your hips?” Obesity, especially the morbid kind is self-made misery.

We can’t avoid the pollen, the natural misery, but we can avoid many self-made miserable things.

Happy not making yourself miserable.

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