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Biblical Counseling Coalition: Grace & Truth

Cutting: Bleeding the Pain Away

Cutting - Bleeding the Pain Away

If you’re a cutter, you know what it’s like to feel the pain welling up inside you. It feels like any second you’re going to explode. In the past you may have cried, gotten angry, accused, complied, or blamed yourself, but now you cut. You’ve prayed, asking God to change things, to make you want to stop cutting, but you feel as if your prayers stopped at the ceiling. You don’t pray anymore.

Unlike the emotional pain, you control the physical pain created by cutting. You know it’s not normal to get relief by cutting, but it does bring release and nothing else seems to work. You reason, “Why would I give it up when nothing else works?” In your heart however, you know that this doesn’t work either. You are having to cut deeper and deeper, more and more frequently.

Cry Out to God

When you are hurting badly, sometimes words don’t seem meaningful. Therefore I have prayed for God’s help for you as you read. Perhaps you could pray also that God will touch your heart and give you hope as you read.

The Lord longs to show pity and mercy to those who are struggling. He is close to the brokenhearted and He binds up their cuts. Please ask the Lord to become your relief, your satisfaction, your comforter, your protector, and your desire.

Because God’s love compelled him to send his Son to bleed and die for us, His love is strong enough to spill out on every soul who looks to him. Additionally, since His power was great enough to raise Christ from the dead, His power is great enough to provide escape from the snare of cutting.

Through Christ’s blood, God brings people near who were formerly separate, He brings people near who were formerly excluded, He comes near to people without hope, He comes near to people like you. Please ask God to show Himself to you. Please cry out to God.

Precious to Him

Psalm 72 says that God will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and needy. These are comforting truths all by themselves but the passage continues with something even more comforting. In verse 14 we learn your blood is precious in His sight.

Psalm 72:12-14
12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.
13 He will take pity on the weak and the needy
and save the needy from death.
14 He will rescue them from oppression and violence,
for precious is their blood in his sight.

Please consider the truth that your blood is precious in God’s sight. When you’ve locked yourself in your room and raised blood in order to feel calm, God has been there and your blood is precious to Him. When you’ve reopened wounds, God has been there and your blood is precious to Him. When you’ve needed the sight of your blood to prove you’re in control, God has been there and your blood is precious to Him.

Blood Is Powerful

Blood is powerful. You’ve been using the sight of your blood as a high powered tool to alleviate your pain, your alienation, your aloneness, your self-loathing and your guilt. In fact, sometimes you practice cutting to atone for the guilt you feel after you cut. But as you’ve come to recognize, your cutting doesn’t solve the issues at war within your soul. Cutting only offers temporary relief; a relief that is quickly destroyed by more pain, more anxiety, more sadness, more guilt, and desperation. Created for God’s glory, the need to cut is a powerful demonstration that we’ve fallen short of his glory.

Spilling out our own blood in an attempt to find relief falls far short of the image God created us to reflect. God is glorious—splendid, magnificent, radiant, holy, and altogether wonderful. And God created us to reflect His glory. We all fall short of this. We all need to be rescued from the pits into which others have shoved us and the pits which we have dug for ourselves. Spilling our own blood is not an effective method to rescue us from the pits.

Remember that in Psalm 72 God says that He will take pity on the weak and needy. Even though we’ve fallen short of His glory, and even though we’ve looked to our own blood to control our pain and provide relief, God is willing to show pity. His pity is shown to us in the brutal death of his Son who suffered and bled so that we could receive a pardon for our sins and begin to reflect the glory we were designed to radiate. The blood you spill can never permanently provide relief or atone for your sins, but the blood Christ spilled for you can. It offers hope beyond relief.

Christ’s blood is powerful. We need the power of Christ’s blood because there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God (Rom. 3:10-11). That charge condemns everyone in your life—no one understands you, no one gets it, no one is righteous. That charge condemns you as well. Your methods to control your pain do not reflect God’s glory.

We all need to be rescued. Christ’s shed blood is so powerful that through faith in his blood we receive forgiveness. Christ suffered and bled not for the relief it would give Him; He suffered and bled to rescue us and provide salvation for us. While you may get short lived relief from spilling your blood, Christ’s blood gives hope for every day and for all eternity.

God will deliver the needy who cry out. Cry out to Him for forgiveness and help. Trust in the blood of Christ, not your own blood. Look to Christ to become your relief, satisfaction, savior, comforter, protector, and desire.

The alienation, abandonment, sense of being misunderstood, guilt, confusion, and powerlessness you’ve experienced has kept you in a dark place. But when God rescues you through Christ, you can begin to walk in the light, because you’re walking with Christ and He is in the light.

In 1 John 1:7 we’re told that “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” Notice that walking in the light and Christ’s purifying blood also brings us into fellowship—relationship—with others.

The alienation you’ve felt from your parents, your peers, your teachers, your bosses, and God has a remedy. The blood of Jesus purifies us and opens the door for good relationships with one another. So trust in the blood of Christ, not your own blood. Blood is very powerful—when it’s Christ’s blood!

Join the Conversation

How could these principles help you either to find victory over cutting or to help others to find victory over cutting?

Note: The thoughts offered in this blog are condensed from the booklet, Cutting: Bleeding the Pain Away. A revised version of this booklet will be available later this year from New Growth Press.

Note: This post first appeared at the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry blog site and is used by permission of FBCM and Amy Baker. To read the original post at FBCM, visit Cutting.

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