“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9
It is NOT a lack of faith to also simultaneously feel fear, hurt, pain or deep suffering. A quick read through a few of the Psalms will teach us that.
Faith is a great thing that pleases God, but it is not to be confused with lacking sensitivity towards others and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit when dealing with those who are hurting or have suffered from trauma.
I’ve seen fellow Christ followers condemn and squash a hurting soul and accuse them of having no faith and lashing out at them with a ‘just suck it up’ attitude and ‘stop living in the past’ mentality.
Each person heals at a different pace, and only the person going through knows the depths of darkness and sorrow they are going through depending of the level of affliction they endured and sometimes for how long. Though, one traumatizing incident can take years for Jesus to walk a person through to healing.
Having great faith in God doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to grieve and have time to heal, and it definitely doesn’t mean putting down a child of God who is at a different place in their faith than we are. We are only at the place of faith we are at to begin with by the grace of God alone. We mustn’t be dismissive, disregarding, and lacking in empathy in the name of faith.
In cases of PTSD that can’t just be ‘faithed’ away. God understands, and He will bring healing in His time and way when we look to Him and lean on Him through it. Little by little.
We must be careful not to treat others through OUR single lens or perspective, or filter the Word of God through our own personality and making it what it’s not.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted…” ~ Ephesians 4:32
This is just once example, but this can happen when a pastor (male) is counseling a female. He can filter the situation through how he’d handle it as a male instead of using the Word of God as a guide. What is that? Kind. Tenderhearted. Full of mercy.
I loved this when I saw it, and it inspired this article. Lord, why can people see this about animals but often not their fellow human beings, including their brothers and sisters in Christ?
I went through many years of abuse and trauma, and I am still in my healing process with Jesus – full of mercy and grace and no condemnation from Him about any of it.
I love the caption, ‘had to be handled carefully at first by the humans because he had NO IDEA how to be held or loved’.
Some of us have really gone through and can be in a place where we have ‘no idea how to be held or loved’ – not a reason to blame the person, but a great reason to love them through all the more – as Jesus would – with kindness and an utterly tender heart. And remember the power of prayer and fervently cover them and bring them before the Lord.