Most people we encounter are carrying around the weight of unresolved pain from their past. Some people are aware, and some are not. Some pain is caused by cataclysmic events, and some is the result of subtle conditioning over long periods of time. However, most “victims” display similar patterns of behavior. We do not feel you can effectively minister and set captives free without understanding how pain affects people’s lives.
The pain we’re discussing is the pain that attacks your sense of identity, your sense of self worth. It changes how you view your self and the world. While most people recognize lasting effects of pain (PTSD, aversions, etc.), there are pains that are kept hidden or are forgotten, or we never recognize to what depths it has affected our understanding of our selves.
Pain changes what we believe – it subjects us to lies. Anytime something attacks the core of who we are, whether dramatic or subtle, we have to respond. We have to find ways to continue to live with the pain. Many of these ways are destructive and bind us.
The effects of abuse early in your life changes the way you process information, view relationships, your self, and God. Children largely perceive the world through their relationships. When relationship is violated, part of our world and our understanding of the world is destroyed. And anchor of our existance has been removed.
It is vital to understand pain and its effects in a ministry setting. We should not seek to change behavior, but to set captives free. The family, church, and community should all be a safe place for children to live and be nurtured. However, satan wants to destroy, so he infiltrates our families, churches, and communities. He destroys one person at a time. Therefore, if we intervene on a personal level and create nurturing communities of faith, knit together by love, faith, spiritual gifts, discipleship, spiritual authority, then we will truly take part in the work of redemption. Loving, transparent community is in some ways necessary to get free from pain – trusted friends can see your blindspots and your destructive behavior patterns. Spiritual gifts and spiritual warfare are necessary in bringing people to freedom. Understanding how the brain reacts to traumatic events also helps to have compassion on the victim.
Sin causes pain, and pain then causes sin. Pain causes people to distrust God, to protect themselves, to lash out, to believe lies, etc. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and He formed the church as a tool to take part in this. The Law was insufficient to remove sin and heal pain. Grace, in all its fullness, destroys the lies, shame, and guilt that surrounds and perverts us, and allows us to be healed by God. In order to destroy the works of the devil, we have to understand how he’s working.
Beautiful Eulogy – According to God. From their album “Instruments of Mercy” available at www.humblebeast.com. Used by permission.
Jars of Clay – Dead Man (Carry Me) http://www.jarsofclay.com/ http://www.noisetrade.com/jarsofclay/noisetrade-eastside-manor-sessions
This episode originally broadcast live on August 7, 2015 on KXEN 1010AM in St. Louis, MO
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