Mantle zones, purpose and don’t waste your cancer! – The Voice: a Christian cancer blog

I follow a number of faith-based cancer blogs as a way of understanding how others use faith to help them through their journeys (these are largely Christian, as my automatic searches for ‘cancer’ and ‘lymphoma’ do not seem to bring forth other faith-based blogs).

While the fundamental point of this post – Don’t waste your cancer – is strong, how it is phrased in John Piper’s list is too deterministic for me:

  1. You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.
  2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.
  3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.
  4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.
  5. You will waste your cancer if you think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
  6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.
  7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection
  8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.
  9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.
  10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.

I am more in cancer being mainly one of those random events that happens to some (unless one engages in behaviours such as smoking that increase the odds), reflecting my secular outlook. But it did provoke me to think what might be the secular version of this list and boiled it down to two key points, based upon my experience and how I have changed:

  • Be more reflective
  • Be more appreciative
These two points are, in one sense, an internal test to set priorities and focus on what is important.
This works for me and my family, others may find a more faith-based approach works better for them. Whatever works.

Mantle zones, purpose and don’t waste your cancer! « The Voice: a Christian cancer blog.

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2 thoughts on “Mantle zones, purpose and don’t waste your cancer! – The Voice: a Christian cancer blog

  1. John Piper’s list is transparently dogmatic — “you will waste your cancer if you don’t claim the same propositions as I do.” And it’s full of coded language like “manifest affection” and “those who have no hope.” This is the voice of Christian conservatism today. There is, however, a more nuanced approach within mainstream Christian tradition which is more flexible and less dogmatic.

    • Agree. All religions have the same range between conservatives (or traditionalists, literalists, fundamentalists, orthodox or other terms) and the more nuanced expression of faith, which is, as you say, more flexible and in tune with living in a world of many people of many faiths or no faith. However, if one takes out Piper’s dogmatism and language, there is some universality underneath it. Cancer is not a blessing and is not an opportunity. But when we have cancer, we do have a choice how we handle it, what message we bring to others, and how we focus on the important.

      Thanks as always for your comments which enrich this blog and my own thinking.

      Andrew

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