Updated: Feb 29, 2020
So many people face the problem of abusing themselves in one way or another. Alcoholism,
and even suicide.
This post is not one of condemnation, rather one of love, understanding and support. I don't want you in any way shape or form to feel guilty and unworthy due to a problem you face. The truth is, we are all not worthy of God's saving grace. But your problem does not have to dictate your future. The things you do to abuse your body or mind may make you feel better in the near future but ultimately have a debilitating long-term effect. If you over do the alcohol, you may get liver issues, if it is the drugs then you may have other issues. With pornography, you may feel unable to accept real relationships or have struggle with your own spouce. Selfharm, although it is a release, may mean you have to live with scars the rest of your life. And suicide, it causes you to miss everything God has got for your future and others miss having you around.
Alcohol was mentioned a few times in the Bible. Let us look at Noah and the Pentecost. In Noah's case, he 'drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.' Here, we can see that Noah's dunkeness led to him being exposed, vulnerable and in a shameful position. Even though this was the case Romans says As Scripture "Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame." Therefore, we are encouraged to not be in a blured or altered state that can lead to our vulnerability. Ok, I'm not saying you can't get a bit tipsy now and then, but we must act responsibly.
There are also a couple of occasions in the Bible where being filled with the spirit or ernest praying can look like drunkeness. The first account I want to look at is of Hannah in 1 Samual 1:14 "Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk". Therefore, she was praying in the spirit. In the Pentecost account, the crowd shout that they are drunk, to which a disciple responds (and I have to wonder if he was slightly sarcastic) "It's only 9 am". When we move in the spirit it may look to man to be immoral or like something bad. Keep your eyes fixed firmly on jesus, do not worry about what your prayer life looks like to others remember 'go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.'
I will briefly skim over this topic as it is not something I want to dwell on. If we look at Colossians 3:5 we read "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry." Here, I believe it is saying that some can almost end up idolising porn, putting it above God. We need to think about what we watch as "Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness." We need to be careful what we let ourselves watch and read, we need to dwell on true and noble things.
On Saturday night, I was watching "Life On Mars" with my grandparents. In this series, a man ends up in a comma and goes back in time. In the episode we watched on Saturday night he discovers that his father was convicted of involvement with pornographic material. This led to dire consequences of him escaping and never returning to his family.
I don't know if you have ever seen 'Fireproof' but here the man watches porn (his own marriage is failing) but is convicted of the wrong it is doing. He decides to quite litrally destroy any porn by going in the garden and bashing the computer with a sledge hammer.
I am in no way saying that you need to go to such extreme measures to free ourselves. But please try and guard your eye gates.
Recently, I have seen a rapid influx in the amount of people who self-harm. By definition self-harm is "deliberate injury to oneself, typically as a manifestation of a psychological or psychiatric disorder." So, it includes anything that causes you intentional harm. The most known form is cutting but self harm also includes biting, punching, pulling out hair, etc.
So what can you do if you self harm?
Commonly, people are advised to hold an ice cube or snap an elastic band on their wrist. But, does this actually help the root cause? I would want to disagree.
This paraphrased bible scripture is one which I think would help anyone who self harms. I know someone who clings to this scripture instead of causing themself harm
Therefore, Christ took the pain so we did not have to inflict it upon ourselves.
What are common reasons for self-harm?
pressures at school or work
sexual, physical or emotional abuse
breakdown of a relationship
loss of a job
an illness or health problem
an increase in stress
difficult feelings, such as depression, anxiety, anger or numbness
There are so many different factors that can cause self harm. it would be easy for me to say to just give it all to God, but sometimes we need the immediate, human support.
Now, I know different people cope in different ways. I'm not going to try to say that everything will work for everyone, but here are a few suggestions
1) Pray- tell God what is going on. He knows you so well and you are his child
2) Write- blog, write a story, journal
3) excercise- do something strenuous that will get the same release but without the guilt
4) worship- shout out the wonder of God, remind yourself why you praise him
5) commune- get people around you, please dont go through this alone
6) scripture- i will post a gallery of images to declare below
I hope that if any of these issues resonate with you, this post has helped
But what if you want to help others?
Just be there
Don't force them to let you pray
Give space and time
See past their challenge
Don't promise confidentiality
If you have been affected by anything in this post please either get in touch with us
Facebook- message the page
Or use any of these helplines
Anxiety UK Phone: 03444 775 774
PAPYRUS Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm, and 2pm to 5pm on weekends)
Samaritans Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Alcoholics Anonymous Phone: 0800 917 7650 (24-hour helpline)
National Gambling Helpline Phone: 0808 8020 133 (daily, 8am to midnight)
Please don't suffer alone
Please share this post with anyone who may be going through a hard time currently