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How Much is Too Much

             I have always been told, "that which does not kill you that makes you stronger." But, I have always asked myself, what if it is this suffering that leads to your death or the death of someone else? What exactly does suffering bring about? In The Book of Job, The Theban Plays of Sophocles, and Plato's The Last Days of Socrates, suffering is a major theme. In the book of Job, he suffers unbearably and in return gains a closer relationship with God and twice his possessions. In The Theban Plays, Oedipus suffers greatly after finding out the truth. In The Last Days of Socrates, Socrates himself suffers when he is forced to choose between the law and what he thinks is right. He also causes a great number of other people to suffer as he questions them about their beliefs. Unlike most themes, suffering is evident even without much thought. It is the likeness of the issues that develops from suffering that traces their way through these works.
             If a person could ever get past the pity he feels for Job, he would run across so many important insights. I often ask myself what exactly gave Job the strength to make it through this suffering. Was it God alone? I think that much more came from Job's experience than a test with God. After Job had begun to be tested, "His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"" (2:9 NIV) This line really changed my conception of Job. Many times people who are suffering have the help and support of those around them. Not Job. In his time of need his own wife was anxious for Job to turn his back on God. But Job held strong to his faith. .
             "He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"" (2:10) From this point we see that many things will result from this suffering. Here, in the beginning, we see that he really didn't know his wife as well as he thought. When his life was in shambles, his wife (a person he trusted) was ready to give up.

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