“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” -Jonah 2: 8 (NIV)
Author Stephen Mansfield (Healing Your Church Hurt) continues his presentation and discussion of five questions designed to help us find life in the midst of our ministry downsizing or vocation loss.
2. How did you try to medicate your wounded soul? Stephen notes that when adversity strikes and “the inner person writhes in torment”, our souls reach for something to anesthetize the pain. We long for a salve rather than a permanent answer, temporary peace rather than long-term righteousness. What we find in grasping for short-term solutions, however, is that we’re actually building additional bondages we’ll battle for the rest of our lives!
Only Jesus can show us the way out of our house of horrors. Writing down all the ways our soul has tried to self-medicate its pain will give us a list of the enemies of our soul. These idols pull at our souls no matter what external peace we may enjoy.
With our enemies identified, we need to declare war by repenting before God, feeding on relevant Scriptures, and giving people the right to show tough love when we go astray. Stephen concludes that identifying what our inner Timmy ( the boy who got his arm stuck in the candy machine) reaches for, but won’t let go of, is a blessing:
“You have been given a marvelous gift. You were cut open and bleeding, and as painful as it was, it gave you a chance to see what . . . (you) ought not to have. Armed with his knowledge, you can truly live free.”
Today’s question: How have you tried to self-medicate the pain of your vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog” “Victim mode”