The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
I Cut Myself For The First Time. What Do I Do Now?

Anonymous asked:
Hi. This is kind of hard for me to talk about. But i cut myself for the first time a couple days ago. And i feel horrible about it, i dont even know why i did it. I know that God’s love for me has not changed. but i feel like he is disappointed with how i view myself. how do i deal with this correctly?

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey my friend,

I’m sorry you’re going through a rough time.  My wife and I are praying for you, and we’ve got your back. 

I think there are three things to look at.  The first is just to sit down with God and clear the air.  Say, “God, I shouldn’t of done that, and it wasn’t cool.  And I’m sorry.”  And rest easy in the knowledge that God isn’t holding anything against you at all.  (1 John 1:9)

The second thing is to deal with the shame you’re feeling.  See, I’m guessing that part of what you’re struggling with is the question, “What does this say about me?  Am I a different kind of person now?”  That’s how taboos work.  People tell us that “only a certain kind of sinner would do xyz”, and, then, when we’ve done xyz, we’re left to wonder if that’s true.

Well, it’s not.  The person you are hasn’t changed.  At all.  Nearly everybody on the planet has, at some point, done something “they thought they’d never do.”  It didn’t change them or put them in a different category of human being.  All it did was to confirm that they – like everybody else – fall under the category of “sinner”.  And sinners sin.  And if you put a person in the right set of circumstances with the right pressures, they’re capable of doing just about anything.  Hence the phrase, “there but for the Grace of God go I.”

The good news, my friend, is that, if you’ll work through this shame with God, he’ll bring something amazing out of it.  Because, on the other side of thinking you’re a dirty sinner and realizing you’re not, you’re in an amazing position to set other people free.  You know, today, in your life, people who are convinced that they are damaged goods or “different” due to sex or drugs or any number of things.  And that belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  You think you’re dirty, so you do dirty things that hurt you.  And God wants to use you to set those people free.  (How’s it taste, Satan?)

The last thing I’d suggest you look at is strategy.  See, people use heroin for a reason.  They get into bad relationships for a reason.  And they cut for a reason.  You have some legitimate needs in your life, and some part of you thought that cutting would help (this is another reason not to be ashamed).  Well, that makes sense, it just doesn’t turn out to be true.  But, to move forward, we need to know what needs you were trying to fulfill with the cutting.  Maybe it’s a need for excitement.  Maybe it’s a need to feel something full-on.  Maybe it’s a need for release.  Or for self-expression.  But it’s something, and we need to know what.  Find a mentor who is significantly farther along with the Lord than yourself, and start talking stuff out.  I bet the two of you will be able to find it.

And then you need a plan to answer that need in a healthy and Godly way.  God has a desire to give you excitement and immediacy and release and self-expression.  And he has a way to hook that up.  We just need to figure out what it is.

My friend, if you’ll work through these steps, you’ll have a first hand experience of what it means for something to be redeemed.  That God can and does take tragedies, and turn them into something good and right and beautiful.

What Does God Think of My Sin?

Over the past few days, I’ve gotten a number of questions from folks who’ve done things they feel ashamed of in their past, and they’re wondering, “What now?”  They’re wondering what God thinks about all of it, and they’re wondering what other people – say, a future husband – is going to think about all of it.

Each question – there’s a few on sex, and a few on cutting – will get it’s own reply, but, there’s a common thread running through all of them, and we’re going to take a look at that here.

So, what does God think of your sin?  Easy.  He understands.

If you don’t know this verse, I’d encourage you to read it to yourself everyday for the next week, month, year, forever…

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

What’s God saying here?  First, he gets it.  The thing you were into, whether it was cutting, or sex, or drugs, he understands why you were into it.  He understands how you got into it in the first place.  He understands why it seemed like a good idea.  He understands what the draw was.  He understands what seemed pleasurable about it.  He understands how hard it was to turn loose of it.  He understands how hard it is to stay clear of it today.  He understands the feelings of guilt and shame that you’re struggling with now.  He understands.

Well, where does that leave us?  It leaves us realizing that we have no reason to be ashamed.  God was not ashamed to shed his blood for you when you were at your worst.  God is not ashamed today to call you his child.  If God ain’t ashamed, then you don’t have to be ashamed.

Your sin says one thing – and only one thing – about you: you are the kind of person Jesus Christ came to save.  Sinners sin.  That’s what they do.  Doesn’t make it right, sure.  But Jesus came unto a world of sinners, and he came, in the midst of your sin, looking for you. 

God hates sin, yes.  But he hates sin precisely because he loves you.  When we sin (which all of us do, all the time), it hurts us, it hurts others, and it leaves us settling for less than God has for us.  That’s why God hates it.  (What kind of a Father would be ok with watching his child hurt herself?)  But God’s hatred of sin never leaves him confused about his love for you.

God loves you.  He loved you when you were cutting, and he loves you today.  He would keep on loving you if you went back to cutting.  Love and behavior are not connected to each other.

Lastly, God is not confused about who you are.  By I wonder if you are.  Your sin confirms that you are a sinner.  But that’s it.  The plans he had for you when he made you – to give you a hope and a future, to use you to change the world, the raise up a Godly husband or wife for you – those plans have not changed.  You have not been diminished or lessened.  You are not tainted or different.  You are not damaged goods.

No, you are the adopted child of the King of the universe.  You are a treasure that was buried in a field.  God saw you, covered in dirt, and he bent down, and dusted you off, and got a good look at you, and He. Was. Excited.  He said to himself, “My mind’s made up.  I’m selling everything I’ve got, I’m buying this field, I must have this person with me.”  Well, it turned out money wasn’t enough.  The field had to be paid for in blood.  So God said, “Ok.  No problem.”  And he stretched out his arms and he died.

That makes you his.  You are his child.  That’s who you are.  You are not a girl who used to cut herself.  That’s something you did, not who you are.  You are a child of God.  You are not a girl who got confused and had a same-sex relationship.  That’s something you did, not who you are.  You are a child of God. 

Take hold of that identity.  Live into it.  Run full speed after it.  Forget what is behind, and press on towards what is ahead.  What is behind you never meant anything anyway.  But what is ahead…well, that’s worth living for.