The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. (Chinese proverb)

Pain is a mixed blessing for all of us. Without pain we wouldn’t know that our hand is too close to a hot stove. We wouldn’t recognize that our body is telling us that something is wrong and needs to be looked at. And then there’s the painful admonition from a friend, pointing out a hurtful word we’ve spoken or an injury we’ve caused. Either kind of pain is a cause for change.

The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful (Ecclesiastes 12:11).