BCC Staff Note: You’re reading Part One in a four-part BCC Grace & Truth blog series on Cutting and Self Harm. In addition to today’s post by Amy Baker, you can read Part Two by Deepak Reju Why Do I Hate Myself?, Part Three by Mark Shaw Bringing Self-Harm Into the Light, and Part 4 by Shannon Kay McCoy The Lies You Believe and the Truth That Sets You Free.
Crying Out to God
Previously for the BCC’s Grace & Truth blog site I’ve talked about cutting (Bleeding the Pain Away) and encouraged those who struggle with a desire to get relief from cutting to cry out to God. God has promised that when the needy cry out, He will hear and take pity. There is great comfort in crying out to God.
In this blog, I’ll highlight two lies which may make it difficult to turn to God. These lies produce emotional responses which make it hard for us to turn to Jesus. These lies put us in a bad place and leave us there.
Lie # 1: There is no solution. I’m a lost cause.
Emotions produced by this lie: Hopelessness and depression.
Truth: God says He is a God of hope.
God says that if you trust in Him, you can overflow with hope. God says, “Those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23).
Why not? Because God plans to prosper you and not harm you; He plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11 – although written to Old Testament Jews, God is an unchanging God who still plans to give His beloved children hope and a future, e.g. Romans 8:17, 28-29).
God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). People don’t bandage the wounds of things that are a lost cause; they throw them out.
But God “raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap” (Psalm 113:7-8). And He doesn’t stop there. “He seats them with princes,” the honored elite. God wants to replace your despair with hope, gladness and praise. He will heal your broken heart. He will care for your wounds and he plans to treat you like royalty.
Emotions produced by these truths: Comfort and hope.
Lie # 2: I must have control. I can get through this on my own. Cutting gives me control.
Emotions produced by this lie: A feeling of false power.
Truth: When Jesus lived on earth people would try just to touch Him because they saw that power was coming from Him and healing people (Luke 6:19).
Imagine being in a crowd of people trying to get up close to Jesus so that you could be healed from cutting. Maybe you would be one of the ones who made it close enough to touch Him, but maybe you would be crowded out by others and never get close enough. The sweet thing is that today you can get close to God any time you desire. God says that when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).
Drawing near to God means we must be willing to submit to Him and acknowledge that control really belongs to Him. Psalm 24:1 tells us that “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
You can rejoice that God is in control because He uses His power to love you. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). He is the champion who will never be defeated. Anyone who seeks to overpower God to control the world will ultimately fail, because there is no power greater than God’s. You can depend on God’s control.
Emotions produced by these truths: A feeling of dependence on the True Protector, our Almighty God. A feeling of security and safety, knowing that He is protecting us.
These two truths are a starting place which will allow us to speak truths into our own lives and start the process of moving to a better place. So consider crying out to God and speaking truth to yourself.
Join the Conversation
How could defeating these two lies with God’s truth help you to defeat cutting in your life?
What other lies do you think are associated with cutting and not calling out to Christ?
How could you use these principles in your biblical counseling ministry?
Author Note: The thoughts offered in this blog are condensed from the booklet, Relief without Cutting: Taking Your Negative Feelings to God, © 2011 by Amy Baker. Used by permission of New Growth Press. Excerpt may not be reproduced without the express written permission of New Growth Press. To purchase this and other resources, please visit New Growth Press.