:: He ''suffered'', and Paul can say, "In my flesh I complete ''what is lacking'' in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (Colossians 1:24). It is a stunning phrase--something lacking in Christ's sufferings! In what he himself did, nothing is lacking. '''But God does not choose to do for men what they can do for themselves.''' We do not simply sit on the sidelines and watch Christ redeeming us. In the divine plan there is a value in suffering undergone by Christ's members in union with his. It is not an injunction to go and look for suffering; Christ did not; Paul did not. It means not shirking what we can and should be doing for him because of the sufferings it might bring us. At all times, we should want his work to be done in the way he sees best, not slowing it down by our own refusal to take any part in it.
υστερημα: "a deficit; specially, poverty:--that which is behind, (that which was) lack(-ing), penury, want."<ref>[http://www.htmlbible.com/sacrednamebiblecom/kjvstrongs/STRGRK53.htm ''Strong's Concordance.'']</ref>
== What if suffering were ruled out? ==