Why would self-mutilation ever occur with a believer? Because salvation removes our sins but does not remove our experiences, emotions or memories. Harming self physically by cutting, hitting, scratching, banging head on wall, etc. or emotionally through negative self-talk happens because of deep unresolved pain in the heart/soul of the believer.
As Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus, he was still bound up in his grave wrappings that were tightly wound around his body after death. God’s power raised him out of the tomb. He was alive, but he could not walk, move or talk because he was bound up. Jesus said to those around him, “Loose him and let him go.” It took people around him that could move to unwrap his grave wrappings.
A person can be saved but completely wrapped up in the ‘grave clothes’ of stinkin’ thinkin’. It can be the result of all types of abuse, self-blame, self-hate, unresolved anger, false guilt, unforgiveness of self and others, allowing the past to define self at present, etc. Salvation removed their sins but not their distorted God-concept of His truth.
The fact of being a new creation in Christ has to be taught to the hurting person. A person can be transformed by renewing his/her mind with God’s truth. Because of their deep emotional pain, many need someone to come alongside them with God’s truth, encouraging and showing how they must replace the devil’s lies with God’s truth that sets free. This describes what I do in God-based counseling and also through teaching.
The church must become a spiritual hospital for the saved that are walking wounded in spirit/soul. We must not condemn the hurting person, but use God’s wisdom in applying His truth as a healing balm to their soul. A counselee told me this week, “You get me. Finally someone understands why I feel like I do.” God’s Word has the answers for the wounded soul. We all need to be healing helpers and show God’s unconditional love because God is love!
Carol Clemans is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, anointed Bible teacher and Christian Life Coach. She provides nationwide confidential counseling by phone/Skype for pastors & lay people (636) 448-0121. Carol teaches for churches/conferences. Go to: www.carolclemans.org – bio, 150+ articles, teaching CD’s, DVD’s, book: God’s Design for Marriage. Revs. Harold & Carol Clemans’ pastor is Jerry Dillon, Madison, MS.