We all have to deal with pain. I had a toothache. After gently being chewed out from the dentist for not seeing him in four years, he showed the pain was caused by a cavity eating into two of my teeth because of a pocket of bacteria between teeth which was impossible to floss. Almost $500.00 later, it is almost good for now. But I am probably looking at a more extensive repair in six months. A regular checkup would have caught the problem and maybe saved me some money. For certain, it would have preserved my two teeth and I would not have had to experience pain.
Pain is a gift from God in our human bodies. It is the biological smoke detector to inform us there is a fire brewing some place it does not belong. It protects and warns us from exposure to harmful elements within and without which left unchecked may produce irreversible harm. The child who touches the wood stove out of curiosity comes away with a blister rather than a third degree burn because pain allows him the opportunity to pull back.
Guilt is emotional pain and is a gift from God in our soul spirit. It is the spiritual smoke detector (conscience) to inform us there is a sin festering and smoldering in our soul. If left unchecked, it will fan into a fire which will result in some kind of hurtful separation. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…(separation)“.
We treat physical pain with medicine: Aspirin, Advil, Tylenol, morphine, and a host of other pain-blocking drugs. But unless we remove the cause of the pain, the above medicines only treat the symptoms. Without removing the thorn from the lions paw, the medicine will only give temporary relief, and left untreated a festering wound can lead to serious complications.
We often treat spiritual pain with medicine. Some people self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Others get prescriptions from doctors. We do not want to deal with what is causing the guilt. We do not even want to admit there is such a thing as guilt, for to make such an admission we have to acknowledge a moral order and a holy God. The medical model removes sin and replaces it with sickness. We have a medical problem rather than a moral problem. It is a chemical biological disruption rather than a spiritual willful failure. Medicine may cover the guilt and give temporary relief, but without dealing with the root cause of soul pain it can cause irreversible harm. Is it not interesting listening to the drug company’s warnings about their side affects? “May lead to suicidal thoughts”: Some have been known to take their own lives while under the influence of their drugs. It is enough of a problem where the user has to be warned by law.
If you are experiencing soul pain, you need to have an examination which will point you to the root cause of the pain. Then find a remedy which will do more than just treat the symptom, but will remove the cause. To treat moral problems with physical medicines will allow spiritual festering which does not ever get better. Sin is not a politically, medically, socially, or even religiously correct idea in today’s culture. So how well is our culture fairing in ignoring the spiritual root problems?
It is interesting what a person can find out about fixing their car by using Google or U-tube. It is amazing how many people could find relief and peace and healing for the inner person if they would go back to the Bible and find out what God has to say about their problem and what to do to fix it. And God does not charge $100.00 an hour for you to listen to His advice. Rather, he paid for the prescription through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ.
I believe the Bible has the answers. God saved me from self-medicating with alcohol. The drinking was not the problem but instead a symptom of a greater spiritual problem. Once God helped me to deal with the guilt in my life, I no longer needed the drug to cover the pain.
How about you? Do you have unresolved pain in your soul? You have tried the remedies of this world and found them to be wanting. Would you be willing to look inside God’s Word? He does have an answer. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Yours Only Because of God’s Grace,
Pastor John Schofield