A note from Kelly King: I’m looking forward to a new year of Friday articles from Kaye Hurta. One of the things I like best about Kaye is that her spiritual gifts and calling are somewhat different than my own. As she ministers to women who are in pain, I am in awe of her calling to lean in to those in pain. Today she talks about that foundation and the importance of developing a framework for your ministry.
My dad was a general contractor (a GC). I learned early on that if I wanted to spend time with him I would have to join him on the job site. Because of that, to this day I am more comfortable in a Home Depot than a Macy’s. What I was too young to realize at the time is that there are so many spiritual lessons you can learn on the job site and from construction. (Jesus was, after all, a carpenter.) One of those lessons is the importance of a building’s foundation and the art of “framing” a house. Those two things I want to connect today to hurting women and your theodicy.
If you overlay construction concepts with spiritual ones, then the Word of God and the truth about Jesus is our sure foundation. It is what we stand on that will never collapse. It is the absolute in a world and culture without any. Our doctrine and our theology is the “framing” or framework for what we build on our foundation. It becomes the house we live in. What you believe matters because the style of your house determines how you will “decorate” it. Stay with me.
What is theodicy? According to Wikipedia it, “In its most common form, is an attempt to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil.” I heard the word for the first time over 15 years ago from my pastor at the time. He said, “your theodicy is your theology of pain.” I was intrigued by it and remember writing it in the inside front cover of my Bible. Before I knew my calling was to pain and people in pain, I was wrestling with my own theodicy.
Why does it matter if we have a theodicy? I’m glad you asked. People are in pain and as ministers of the gospel, we invariably address that pain based on the framework we have created in our minds regarding God and pain. We do it by default. This is why it is so important to have a sound, biblical theodicy or framework for your ministry to operate from.
So, what is your theodicy?
What do you believe about pain? Does God cause it? Why does He allow it? Is there an answer to the “why” questions? Why do people suffer? Why do godly people suffer? Does God cause natural disasters? If so, why does He? Why is there injustice?
These are all questions you will hear or have heard from the people you are leading and ministering to. You will answer these questions from the core of your own personal theodicy. For this reason, it is essential for you to know what that is. By mishandling the answers to these questions in critical moments with people in pain, we can do tremendous harm.
My invitation to you this month as we begin the New Year is to develop a theodicy for your ministry or just for yourself. Next week, I will share some key Scriptures that I have used to develop my own. I would love to hear what you come up with. Please comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, our mission in helping hurting women is to give hope to people in pain by accurately representing who God is and how He views them.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.