Adversity, a Harsh Path Towards Personal Development

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While adversity is never longed for by anyone, perseverance during pain or a trial will result in personal development. The famous Roman poet Horace phrased this idea as, “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.” Examples of adversity improving a person can be seen in both physical and spiritual forms. Within sports, adversity acts as an effective motivator, and temporary pain strengthens the body. The Bible also recognizes life’s difficulties as a tool for character refinement. Adversity is a crucial component in one’s life, as it cultivates growth within the person experiencing a hardship.

Adversity is a crucial factor for success with the physical body. One type of difficulty, pain, is an adversity in all sports. The sensation of pain is due to the breaking down of muscles during practices and exercises. Although the muscle fibers may be broken, they repair themselves to build a stronger muscle mass than before. If an athlete stopped training as soon as pain was perceived, they would never improve. Thus, an athlete will seek to constantly train and endure such difficulties, as this is the only means to improve their abilities. Adversity in the form of criticism or doubt can also become a tremendous motivator to athletes. One outstanding example of adversity having such an effect is in the life of the future NFL linebacker, Shaquem Griffin(Goodbread, Chase). Griffin had his hand amputated around age four due to a birth complication. Upon beginning football, no analysts believed he could succeed in the world of pro-sports because of his handicap. However, this adversity inspired Griffin to train harder than anyone else, placing it upon himself to surpass everyone’s expectations for his career. Without this hardship, Griffin would not be nearly as skilled of a football player as he is today. It is evident then, that pain results in physical improvement and adversity spurs bodily motivation.

Hard times in life also can be used to strengthen one’s character. This fact is shown throughout the Bible in numerous instances. In James, it is written, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”(ESV, James 1:2-3). The concept of adverse situations producing rewards is also stressed in Romans, where Paul writes“, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character.”(Romans 5:3-4). Both passages communicate the roles adversity and trials have in the process of improving personal character. Joni Eareckson Tada for example, suffered a debilitating spinal injury during her childhood (“Joni’s Bio”). Many would have given up on life, however she endured through her circumstances and grew to use her life as a testimony to God’s will. Within the Bible the importance of enduring adversities and tough situations in life, to become stronger in our faith, is clearly displayed.

A person experiencing adversity either physically or spiritually will see growth in their life if they persevere through the situation. Physically, pain results in improvement, while adverse situations provide powerful motivation toward advancement. Spiritually, trials will result in stronger faith and greater personal character. Those who continue fighting through adversities, whether in the form of trials, pain, or skepticism, will reap the rewards of increased performance and personal cultivation in the end.

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