Fictitious Epistle to the Stoics

I, Paul, a servant of the Lord, write to you with love and a desire to engage in thoughtful dialogue. I have heard of your adherence to Stoicism, a philosophy that seeks to cultivate virtue and inner tranquility. While I commend your pursuit of wisdom, I feel compelled to offer a different perspective, one rooted in the teachings of Christ.

First, regarding your belief that we should focus on how we react rather than on what happens to us. God has created us to be emotional beings, He intended us to despise evil and rejoice in righteousness. Therefore it is not through the numbing of emotions where we will find peace but rather in surrendering to the will of God. It is through surrendering to Him that we find true freedom and peace, because all things will work out for good to those who trust the Lord.

As believers, we are called to a different path. We are invited to bring our deepest joys and sorrows before God, knowing that He understands our hearts and offers comfort and healing. In Christ, we find the perfect balance of reason and emotion, for He wept, He rejoiced, and He displayed righteous anger when confronted with injustice.

In the pursuit of contentment, Stoicism advises against always desiring more. Yet, life is propelled by desire and hope. You take away both and you take the ones' reason to go on. We should therefore desire the right things to desire, which is to desire the things of heaven, to hunger and thirst for righteousness. It is this holy discontent that propels us to seek God, His righteousness, His mercy, and share the love of Christ with those around us.

Now kindness and empathy are virtues you hold dear. This is good but genuine kindness and love can only be attained in Christ who loved us first and has filled the hearts of those who believed in Him with debt of gratitude bigger than you can imagine of. I urge you to consider the selfless love that Christ demonstrated on the cross. It is through His example that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, to go beyond mere acts of kindness and extend grace and forgiveness even to those who may not deserve it.

While the Stoic philosophy embraces the impermanence of all things, acceptance of death, and detachment to it, we Christians have our hope of eternal life in Christ. We are called to invest our time and talents in the building of God's kingdom, knowing that our efforts will have everlasting significance.

Lastly, I must address the notion of challenges as mere opportunities for growth. While it is true that trials either purifies a person like gold or hardens him like a clay, for us followers of Christ, we are not left to face trials alone. In our weakness, His strength is made perfect. The difficulties we encounter are not merely stepping stones to personal growth but opportunities to experience the transformative power of God's grace.

My beloved Stoics, I humbly present these thoughts for your consideration. May the wisdom and love of Christ guide your hearts and minds as you navigate the path of virtue and seek truth. May you find in Him the fulfillment and purpose that surpasses all earthly philosophies.

In Christ's love, Paul"