Why would self-mutilation ever occur by a believer in God? Because salvation removes our sins but does not remove our experiences, emotions, or memories. Harming self physically by cutting, hitting, scratching, banging head on wall, etc. or emotionally through negative self-talk happens because of deep unresolved pain in the heart/soul of the believer. A person can be saved, but deeply wounded.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he was still bound up in his grave wrappings that were tightly wound around his body after death. God’s power raised Lazarus out of the tomb. He was alive, but he could not see, move, walk or talk because he was bound up. Jesus said to those around him, “Loose him and let him go.” It took people around him that were alive and could move to unwrap his grave wrappings.
A person can be saved, but completely wrapped up in the ‘grave clothes’ of ‘stinkin thinkin.’ It can be the result of all types of abuse, addictions, self blame, self hate, unresolved anger, false guilt, unforgiveness of self and others, allowing the paste to define self at present, etc. Salvation removed their sins, but not their distorted God-concept of His truth.
The fact of being a new creation in Christ has to be taught to the hurting person. A person can be transformed by renewing his/her mind with God’s truth – Roms. 12: 1 & 2. Because of their deep emotional pain, many need someone to come along side them with God’s truth encouraging and showing how they must replace the devil’s lies with God’s truth that sets free. This describes what I do in God-based counseling and also through teaching.
The person who self-mutilates physically or emotionally has not been able to process their negative painful emotions in a safe environment. God wants the hurting person to empty his pain onto God. God already nailed the pain and shame to the cross. The power of His blood removes sins and also has the power through His Spirit to transform the mind with His truth and learning a new identity in God.
Salvation is the foundation for spiritual, emotional and relational growth. God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. We cannot expect a new babe in Christ to know how to rightly divide the Word of Truth. They must be taught who they are in Christ.
Romans 8:1 opens the understanding that now in Christ there is no condemnation for those who walk after the Spirit. Satan attacks the wounded in heart with heavy condemnation regarding their past. The wounded person must understand he needs transformation in his thinking – he no longer can allow his past to define who he is today. Today in Christ Jesus, he is a royal priest, holy nation, God’s special treasure, and a new creation in Christ! The past is under the blood!
God is our creator and then he became our Savior. Our value and worth comes to us from God alone. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love is not based on performance. We cannot earn God’s love. It’s a free gift! We love Him because He first loved us. The saved wounded person may have never felt unconditional love from anyone. Therefore, it is difficult to believe God’s love flows without restrictions.
The church must become a spiritual hospital for the saved that are walking wounded in spirit/soul. We must not condemn the hurting person, but use God’s wisdom in applying His truth as a healing balm to their soul. A counselee from another state told me this week, “You get me. Finally someone understands why I feel like I do.” It was extremely comforting to her that I understood her pain. That is the beginning of hope and change. It is a process and takes time. God’s Word has the answers for the wounded soul – being transformed by renewing the mind! We all need to be healing helpers and show God’s unconditional love because God is love!
Pastors, if you desire to equip leaders in your church to be healing helpers, we can do live teaching through Skype. Call and allow me to explain – (636) 448-0121.
Carol Clemans is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, anointed Bible teacher and Christian Life Coach. She provides nationwide confidential counseling by phone/Skype for pastors & lay people (636) 448-0121. Carol teaches for churches/conferences. Go to: www.carolclemans.org – bio, 150+ articles, teaching CD’s, DVD’s, book: God’s Design for Marriage.