In choosing to follow Christ in the way he directs, we choose all that this path includes under his sovereign providence. Thus all suffering that comes in the path of obedience is suffering with Christ and for Christ—whether it is cancer or conflict. And it is ‘chosen’—that is, we willingly take the path of obedience where the suffering befalls us, and we do not murmur against God. We may pray—as Paul did—that the suffering be removed (2 Corinthians 12:8); but if God wills, we embrace it in the end, as part of the cost of discipleship in the path of obedience on the way to heaven.
—John Piper, Desiring God, 1996 Expanded Edition, p. 216
“All too often, our online identity is very different from our offline identity. Our Facebook status projects what we want others to think of us, not who we truly are. Our blog posts are shrouded in airs of intellectualism or edginess. We all face the temptation to project a false image of ourselves because we find the real image inadequate. If we are honest, the real image is nowhere near as attractive as we want it to be. We want to be more beautiful, more successful, more creative, more virtuous, more popular, and more intelligent than we actually are. We all have an image problem. The problem, however, is not that we lack beauty, success, creativity, virtue, popularity, or intelligence. The problem is that we believe the lie that obtaining those images will actually make us complete, happy, and content people.”
—Jonathan Dodson, Fight Clubs: Gospel-Centered Discipleship, p. 14