In breadth & depth I wrote, “With adversity comes depth.” Well I realize and feel compelled to add that this is not automatic. I have a friend who, because of the pain his mother experienced in her last year, has expressed bitterness toward God and doubts about the Christian Faith he once embraced. As some have put it, trials can either make you bitter or better.
As St. Peter writes, our faith is tested with fire (1 Peter 1:3-8):
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith-the salvation of your souls.
But I stand by my contention that real depth is matter of character gained through adversity rather than a matter of intellect. I suppose one could speak of “depth of intellect,” but that’s not the depth that ultimately matters, as St. Paul attests in 1 Corinthians 1:25-29:
. . . the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.