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Subject – The Christian Church – Let’s Talk About Sex – Understanding the Entrapment of Emotional and Sexual Entanglement: Cause of Immorality – Emotional Pains (Wounds) – Part 5 of 15
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Sunday, 22nd of September 2019
Blog link: https://www.otakada.org/emotional-pain
Nuggets of Wisdom –
“The best people all have some kind of scar.”
― Kiera Cass, The One
“Everyone keeps telling me that time heals all wounds, but no one can tell me what I’m supposed to do right now. Right now I can’t sleep. It’s right now that I can’t eat. Right now I still hear his voice and sense his presence even though I know he’s not here. Right now all I seem to do is cry. I know all about time and wounds healing, but even if I had all the time in the world, I still don’t know what to do with all this hurt right now.”
― Nina Guilbeau, Too Many Sisters
“But pain’s like water. It finds a way to push through any seal. There’s no way to stop it. Sometimes you have to let yourself sink inside of it before you can learn how to swim to the surface.”
― Katie Kacvinsky
“I couldn’t trust my own emotions. Which emotional reactions were justified, if any? And which ones were tainted by the mental illness of BPD? I found myself fiercely guarding and limiting my emotional reactions, chastising myself for possible distortions and motivations. People who had known me years ago would barely recognize me now. I had become quiet and withdrawn in social settings, no longer the life of the party. After all, how could I know if my boisterous humor were spontaneous or just a borderline desire to be the center of attention? I could no longer trust any of my heart felt beliefs and opinions on politics, religion, or life. The debate queen had withered. I found myself looking at every single side of an issue unable to come to any conclusions for fear they might be tainted. My lifelong ability to be assertive had turned into a constant state of passivity.”
― Rachel Reiland, Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder
“You know what truly aches? Having so much inside you and not having the slightest clue of how to pour it out.”
― Karen Quan, Write like no one is reading
“Wounded people are highly vulnerable and have a very high tendency to wound others mercilessly without even realizing they are wounded emotionally – The emotional wound is usually concealed in the subconscious mind, like a ticking time bomb, waiting for the right pressure to explode with devastating consequences to self and others” – Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe, Personal Reflections
Key verses for Today:
Luke 4:18-19 Living Bible (TLB)
18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors, and that God is ready to give blessings to all who come to him.”[
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 Living Bible (TLB)
33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things. If you listen to them you will start acting like them. 34 Get some sense and quit your sinning. For to your shame I say it; some of you are not even Christians at all and have never really known God
Psalm 127:3-5 Living Bible (TLB)
3 Children are a gift from God; they are his reward. 4 Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows to defend him.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. That man shall have the help he needs when arguing with his enemies
Exodus 20:14 –17
14 No adultery.
15 No stealing.
16 No lies about your neighbor.
17 No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.
Matthew 5:27-32 Message
Adultery and Divorce
27-28 “You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.
29-30 “Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile. And you have to chop off your right hand the moment you notice it raised threateningly. Better a bloody stump than your entire being discarded for good in the dump.
31-32 “Remember the Scripture that says, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it legally, giving her divorce papers and her legal rights’? Too many of you are using that as a cover for selfishness and whim, pretending to be righteous just because you are ‘legal.’ Please, no more pretending. If you divorce your wife, you’re responsible for making her an adulteress (unless she has already made herself that by sexual promiscuity). And if you marry such a divorced adulteress, you’re automatically an adulterer yourself. You can’t use legal cover to mask a moral failure.
1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 – New Living Translation
9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6: 16-20 Message
16-20 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us lonelier than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
1 Kings 19:3-7
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had
enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and
eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of
bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and
touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too
much for you.”
Shade knew that the image she projected was one of confidence. That wasn’t a false image. It just wasn’t the whole picture.
“But,” she would reason to herself, “why should I ‘air my dirty laundry’ for all the world to see?” She moved about her world in the light of day with a smile. At night-alone-she anguished. She was unable to hide her loneliness in the dark. The light offered so many activities and pretenses of fulfillment. But, in the night, there was nothing. Nothing but the pain.
Shade had been a Christian almost all her life. She was raised in a church and had accepted Christ as a child. Her family was loving and she had as close a relationship a geographical distance would allow. Shade had been offered a “golden” job with a Christian organization. It involved a move away from home, which she decided would be good for her. She was in her mid-thirties, unmarried and flexible. The move had been a relatively smooth one. Her coworkers took her along with them to church until she found one she was comfortable with. Shade immediately got involved and seemed “happy” with her new life.
That had been four years ago. They had not been bad years. But they had been lonely. It seemed difficult to establish deep friendships-and she was so busy being successful. She had dated only casually and occasionally. Her moral standard was impeccable.
But, the nights. They were really getting rough. So alone.
Shade met Okonkwo at work. He had transferred in from another location and was in the process of getting established. Since Shade knew that whole “newcomer routine,” she offered to show Okonkwo around. They would not have described their relationship as one of “dating.” But they were spending a lot of time together. Okonkwo was divorced, a Christian, alone.
They developed an intimate friendship that led, in a matter of weeks, to an affair. Shade suffered tremendous guilt over her actions. She kept intending to end it. But, she was no longer alone in the dark.
When self-esteem is damaged
David had been in the pastorate for about ten years. He started a church that grew steadily over those years. In terms of ministry, he was certainly considered successful. His wife was active in the church’s work, and all seemed well. David’s denomination supported a proposal by his church to have a group break off and start a sister church on the other side of town. David was in agreement and helped with the beginning steps of that process.
The new pastor called to plant the sister church was dynamic and effective in the pulpit. David’s congregation was excited about what this church, and this new man, could offer. Soon, some of the old, regular attenders of David’s church started to visit the new one. David understood their curiosity and was not alarmed.
Not at first.
Attendance at David’s church started to drop off. It took two years for David to face what had happened. He was still preaching. He still had a church. But it was dead. People would come and go. There were a few faithful diehards. But it had slipped from his grasp. David told himself that his significance was not wrapped up in his work. He told himself that, but he did not really believe it.
His self-esteem was badly damaged.
There was a young woman he was counseling in his congregation. She became as good a listener for him as he was for her. The affair that began by making him feel better about himself only served to further tear down his already crumbling life.
Causes of emotional pain
“Four primary causes of emotional pain are
1. Lack of self-worth,
2. Lack of intimacy with others, or loneliness,
3. Lack of intimacy with God.
In the previous illustrations, Shade was suffering from a lack of intimacy with others and David was suffering from a lack of self-worth. They both lacked true intimacy with God. The results of such pain can often drive us to great lengths to find relief.
Lack of intimacy with others may be a need that goes unnoticed for quite some time. We can easily fool ourselves to believe that we are satisfied, even without close relationships, by gratification from work, church obligations, and other superficial activities. Because that need for personal intimacy is in us and growing, when it does surface, it can be explosive. The level of pain experienced when we face true loneliness can be very intense. If we are caught by surprise by this pain, there is an equal amount of intensity pressuring us to relieve it.
Lack of self-worth is a fertile field for immorality to take root. If we are feeling bad about ourselves, and a person comes along who is not only sympathetic but builds our damaged ego, look out. It is only natural to be drawn to warm and caring compliments. These compliments are not an authentic measure of our self-worth, but we are unable to evaluate that truth in light of our pain. All we know is that we feel bad and that being with this certain person makes us feel good.
Lack of intimacy with God is difficult to determine. Our world relates “intimacy” with sexual encounter so closely that our thinking is nebulous when defining a relationship with God that is intimate. – True intimacy with God will be presented later.
The pain of loss
Emotional pain caused by loss can also be devastating. The loss may be as dramatic as the death of a loved one or as inevitable as the loss of youth. Life is a series of losses. We may often feel we are prepared for them, but the reality is difficult to live with.
Looking for relief
Emotional pain resulting from loss needs to be recognized and faced. We can attempt to make changes to disguise the loss as in the case of aging, when we cover, tuck and camouflage the signs of physical atrophy-but the loss is still real. How often do we hear about immorality entering a man’s life because of a “mid-life crisis”? A mid-life crisis is the harsh reckoning with the loss of youth.
We may not all suffer greatly from lack of self-worth or lack of intimacy, but we will all suffer losses. The way we handle all these losses may sometimes be incorrect. There are both correct and incorrect ways. But sometimes we lose sight of the difference because our primary focus is just getting rid of the pain.
Anyone who has suffered great physical pain knows the driving effect to ease that pain. We go to doctors, take medication, and undergo surgery. The pain resulting from the surgery is often intense, but worth the effort if relief is the end result. The beginning of the end of physical pain is for a doctor to diagnose what is causing that pain. He carefully examines that patient. If the cause is not obvious, he will run tests. Once he has diagnosed the cause, he prescribes a cure. If there is no cure, he attempts to ease the pain and help the patient to cope with the illness.
Diagnosis of emotional pain may be as painful a process as the experience of the pain itself. Low self-esteem, loneliness, lack of intimacy with God , and personal loss are not easy issues to face. If we can take the pills of business or denial, perhaps we can avoid surgery. And, if those fail, there might be comfort in a relationship with another person.
How does immorality slip into a person’s life who is experiencing great emotional pain? It does so in the form of relief. The adversary disguises it to look good and justified in the early stages. By the time it is seen as bad medicine, it is well into the system of the patient.
Emotional Pain dramatically blurs our vision.
In the middle of deep emotional pain, immorality can be rationalized and appear justified because our vision is blurred. We are viewing life through the eyes of one focused on relief, not on the Lord. Temptation is heightened because we can actually experience little tastes of relief in the early stages of a relationship with a sympathetic person.
We hate to bring up the word “patience.” It is one of our least favorite areas of growth. We do not like to wait. We want to solve issues now. If it is a painful issue, we want to solve it before now. Solving something now often results in solving it incorrectly. How often we can look back at a decision. Patience to live in the middle of pain is a valued commodity for the believer.
Of course, the most familiar biblical example of patience is Job. He had a first-class case of pain and the need for patience. He was incapacitated to the point that physical behavior was limited, but we are allowed to see into the recesses of his thinking and identify with the mental turmoil he endured. Job’s temptation was not one of immorality, but he did succumb to another temptation in the midst of his trouble. He challenged God. God met that challenge in a confrontation with Job on exactly who Job was in relation to him. Job acknowledged that humbling reality and, in the end, God richly blessed him.
For us, our particular sufferings and temptations may be different than Job’s, but the principle is the same: When we try to find relief in ways that are not biblical, we will inevitably fail to attain that relief. Emotional pain is a terrible thing to endure, but the solution is not anything unbiblical.
When we are in terrible pain, we think that no one could possibly ever endure the level of torment we are experiencing. Sometimes we rationalize that this degree of pain warrants an unbiblical response.
Thank You Lord for making us realize that without You, we headed for destructive tendencies. Help us to seek You in the middle of our emotional pain with the intent to receiving lasting and total healing. Make us strong to strengthen others who are in similar circumstances in Jesus name Amen
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe
E – Discipleship @ Otakada.org