Cutting is NOT your idea
Are you or someone that you love and care about a cutter (into self-mutilation)? Huge news!!
For the past couple of days, I've been thinking about the whole phenomenon of cutting. Psychologists are quick to say that people cut or maim themselves because of the internal pain that they have no way of expressing or feeling. It's an outward expression of inner pain.
At first glance, that explanation makes perfect sense, right? Perhaps you're being abused or ignored or bullied and so cutting becomes a way of hurting yourself even more, therefore validating what others think of you. Some say that it's a form of low self-esteem or self-abuse.
I recently read about one teen aged girl who, after being teased and taunted at school for identifying as bisexual, returned home each day to cut herself. In her own personal "it gets better" YouTube video, she is shown holding up her arm to display the hundreds of marks on her forearm.
For most compassionate individuals, the video is heartbreaking, right? Obviously, this girl is going through her own personal hell on a daily basis (on top of the difficult and tumultuous teenage years) and then to top it off, she's inflicting great bodily pain on herself. And yes, it is heartbreaking, but for different reasons then one might intially think.
I would bet that this girl has a huge call on her life and has no idea!! (Can you tell I'm excited?!!) She's confused about her sexuality, she's being bullied and she's cutting herself, which is contrary to our human instinct for survival. I'm guessing that she's probably suicidal too. She probably has no idea about God, let alone His plan for her life. I'm guessing that once she found out about God's amazing love for her, that she'd share that love to the ends of the earth. After all, she bothered to produce a You Tube video to encourage her fellow sufferers.
Yesterday morning, I prayed that God would give me direction as to what to read in scripture. He directed me to Mark 5. More on that in a minute.
I mentioned earlier that I've been thinking about cutting, specifically because I cut my own leg in the shower--a really deep cut. Probably the worst cut I've ever given myself. I'm talking spurting blood and massive pain. (Massive to me anyway..) Right on the ankle. I hobbled around for several days saying out loud, "I have no idea why anyone would willingly cut themselves, it hurts!!!" I guess God was listening to my whining, because of the specific direction and explanation that I found in Mark, Chapter 5.
Here's what I found in Mark 5:1-13 says from the Message version of the Bible:
They arrived on the other side of the sea in the country of the Gerasenes. As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him—he couldn't be chained, couldn't be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones. (DUDE!!!! This guy that lived 2000 years ago was CUTTING HIMSELF!!!)
When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him—then bellowed in protest, "What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don't give me a hard time!" (Jesus had just commanded the tormenting evil spirit, "Out! Get out of the man!")
Jesus asked him, "Tell me your name."
He replied, "My name is Mob. I'm a rioting mob." Then he desperately begged Jesus not to banish them from the country.
A large herd of pigs was browsing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged him, "Send us to the pigs so we can live in them." Jesus gave the order. But it was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned.
Cutting has been going on since the time of Jesus, and most likely before. Notice that when the demons were cast out, the desire to cut was gone too? Read the rest of the story to find out what happened to the man that was demon possessed (Mark 5:14-20):
Those tending the pigs, scared to death, bolted and told their story in town and country. Everyone wanted to see what had happened. They came up to Jesus and saw the madman sitting there wearing decent clothes and making sense, no longer a walking madhouse of a man. (He was NORMAL AGAIN!!!! He had been restored to sanity once the demon was cast out. NO MORE CUTTING!!)
Those who had seen it told the others what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs. At first they were in awe—and then they were upset, upset over the drowned pigs. They demanded that Jesus leave and not come back.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but he wouldn't let him. Jesus said, "Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you." The man went back and began to preach (this guy who used to cut himself and previously had no hope was now PREACHING!! He, like you or your cutting friend, had a call on his life to preach the Gospel!! If the devil is bothering you, its because he knows how special you are to God!!! Consider this a compliment--it means that God has great plans for you!!) in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.
Cutting is not your idea. It's a lie from the Liar (the devil). The idea to cut oneself comes from a suggestion. Something like, "Hey why don't you carve up your arm...you're a piece of crap anyway. Who cares what your arm looks like." Or, "Maybe you'll feel better if you draw some blood."
It's that same voice that says, "Why don't you just kill yourself. Nobody will miss you anyway."
Who's that voice? The devil. And yes, he exists. The bible says in John 10:10 that,
The thief (meaning the devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (meaning Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Tempted to cut? Say out loud instead, based on Psalm 139:1-29 (NIV) (and yes, this is a long one. Go ahead and read the entire passage out loud):
You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Please share this with as many young people as possible!! I believe that it will set people free!!