Why does God allow temptations and suffering to exist?

Luke 4:1-13. The temptation of Jesus

The devil can quote the Scriptures, cite superficially, but bastardize the meaning to lure us. This is why reflection and discernment is crucial, because the same words can be interpreted or misinterpreted, and this can lead to both good and bad.

For the sake of convenience, we rely on snap judgements and actions. Without reflection, we may not discover our unconscious biases and inadvertently promote systemic injustices even with our good intentions.

Another depiction or characterization of Satan is that of an “adversary”, which somewhat resembles our appreciation of a “devil’s advocate” role in meetings or deliberations. Some scholars intepret the devil in the story of Job as a devil’s advocate, rather than the horrific and satanic monster that terrifies our imagination.

An “uncomfortable” insight I have on why God allows suffering and Satan is that somehow, a greater good can arise from these challenges. As readers, we better appreciate Jesus and Job’s fortitude as they overcome temptations and suffering.

Perhaps the invitation is to find our unique way of being authentic. We all have different strengths and flaws. The season of lent is a call to master ourselves or what Lonergan calls as self-appropriation — to gain insight of our tendencies, and how we can pursue virtues in our unique ways, suffering and temptations be damned.

[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 65: MARCH 6, 2022]

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