As I said in the last blog, there are two types of pain: physical, a needful pain because it is oftentimes is an indicator that something is wrong physically and needs your immediate attention, and emotional pain. I believe that emotional pain is the mother of all pain and more difficult to heal. It may take a physical wound a few weeks to heal, depending on the severity of that wound, but an emotional wound can and often does last a lifetime. One of the reasons for this lifelong wound is that society as a whole tries to cover up emotional pain. Society uses band-aids like using alcohol, using drugs, shopping, changing relationships, or moving to another city. None of these things will work.
Emotional pain has been around since the beginning. It existed in the first family. The reason for Cain's killing of Abel goes back to him feeling rejection. The feelings of rejection are strong. For a lot of us, we grew up in dysfunctional families because perhaps our parents grew up in dysfunctional families. The process has repeated itself over and over again. It is true that emotionally hurting people hurt people emotionally.
This actually goes all the way back to Lucifer becoming jealous of God's ability to rule. And it is not all about that, but jealousy and envy are a type of emotional pain. They can cause outbursts of angry words, violent behavior, physical illness and even death. Emotional pain has destroyed lives, ruined marriages, torn families apart, stifled productivity in the workplace, and put nations against each other. Emotional pain is a major source of destruction. It costs both physically and financially. In fact, antidepressants are some of the most widely prescribed medications on the market today. Though they can be helpful at times, they are not able to deal with the root of the problem. The loss to society is great; the band-aids don't work.
One of the biggest causes of emotional pain is relationships gone awry. This can leave a person scarred for life when not dealt with properly. When rejected by someone we desperately want to be accepted by it can alter your life if allowed. Rejection is one of the most common causes of emotional pain and it can kill. I think that a lot of the emotional pain that we live with can be eliminated if we would just be honest with ourselves, tell ourselves the truth, and then speak it to others without anger. Healing comes through transparency at the right time and in the right way. When we cover up, we can never be healed from something. This is why most of us experience a lifetime of pain.
Continue with us in our next blog.
Growing up in my house there was never a dull moment. When I was younger, my daddy taught us all to work. We had to work. There was no option. He was self-employed with his own construction company, so we all had to learn how to do construction work. Back in the early years, My father worked a lot of men who couldn't get jobs anywhere else. Some of these men didn't have the opportunity to go to school because they had to enter the workforce really young in order to take care of their family's needs.
I remember distinctively two men who could not tell time. One of them always wore a watch, even though he couldn't tell time. Well, the one who did not have a watch and couldn't tell time went to the man who had the watch on but couldn't tell time. (Remember this would have been before there were digital watches.) So, when the man without the watch went to the man with the watch he asked him, "What time is it?" thinking that it was about time for lunch. The man who couldn't tell time held it up in the other man's face and said, "There it is right there!" The gentleman who also couldn't tell time looked at it knowing that he couldn't tell time either and said, "I'll be dogged if it ain't". They both walked off not knowing what time it was even though there was a time piece there to tell them, but they just couldn't read it.
The Bible says, that we have not because we ask not. In this scenario, there were two men who could have not only gotten the right time if they had asked, but they could have learned how to tell time, if they were not too proud to admit that they couldn't. A lot of Christians are like that. They would rather look like they know something knowing that they don't know it rather than to admit that they don't know and learn what they really need to know. The temptation is always there to look better than you really are. You can't get help like that. You have got to admit: "I don't know." Once you admit it, you can go to the right person (or the right place) to get the right answers, and equip yourself to know exactly what time it is!
I was teaching in minister's class a couple of months ago concerning this subject and, in my years of ministry, I have noticed that there were times in my life when God would allow me to suffer through certain things in order to break me in the right place.
I discovered that God uses brokenness to get our attention. God's desired result is the total surrender of our will. There have been some great tragedies that have happened in the lives of men and women like David , Peter and Ruth. In the case of Ruth, she lost her husband. All of them went through tragedy and that resulted in a turning of their hearts to God in a greater way. Sometimes, God uses brokenness to get those who already know Him to let go of whatever prevents them from experiencing Him more fully.
In either case, brokenness means recognizing that what we have is not enough. When I was a young pastor, I went through a period where I felt rejected by the leadership in the church. This rejection crushed me so until I was ready to quit. As a matter of fact, I did quit. I told them that I was resigning. For days, I told God that I was through with the work; the church that I was pastoring: Faith Tabernacle. God let me go on for days telling Him what I wasn't going to do. And then one morning, as I was telling God what I wasn't going to do, God responded to me and asked me where I was going to go and He said I never told you to go. Well, when He said that, I knew I was in trouble. Then He asked me why was I so angry and I told Him that they had rejected me. Then He told me that they were only what I had taught them to be. It crushed me. It broke me because it put the burden of responsibility back on me, and I wanted to blame them. I realized that what God was telling me was that they responded the way that they responded because of what I had taught them.
Although this period of brokenness grew from a sense of personal failure in ministry, times of breaking come in many flavors. For some, it takes a chattered marriage; others the loss of a loved one; for others, the loss of a job; and still for some, ruined finances. God can use any of these issues to tame our soul. The source of the situation is not nearly as important as how we respond to it. Although the circumstances may be diverse, the divine goal is very simple BROKENNESS.
Pastor Earl Goings shares his thoughts on everyday concerns.
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