In a previous blog, Pain Means Comfort is on the Way, we looked at one aspect of emotional pain. Today I want to look at pain from another angle that I learned from Dr. Wilder. As I talk to people about their pain they seem to fall into a couple of categories—those who avoid pain and those who feel other’s pain for them. We sometimes call the former an addict and the latter a co-dependent. Neither are looking at pain the way God does. I fell into the latter category.
As I struggled to get out of this category, I learned three things about pain in addition to realizing that pain means comfort is on the way. Dr. Wilder helped me realize: (1) I would have to become very hard to control by not allowing another person’s feelings or opinions to sway me; (2) I would have to stop feeling other people’s feelings for them so they had to feel them for themselves and (3) I would need to learn how evil uses pain so as not to fall into any of the enemy’s snares about pain. I return now and then to Jewels for My Journey for reminders about all three of these lessons. Some of these jewels were taken from The Stages of A Man’s Life by Dr. Wilder while others were told to me personally.
“When a person avoids pain it means that his or her pain must be borne by someone else. Perhaps this is a good definition of evil—‘the result of making others bear our pain.’ These people try to take control through various means, because if they are in control they don’t have to feel pain. Two favorite ways to avoid pain by taking control are threats and blaming. Although Jesus experienced extreme pain, He never threatened or blamed.” (1 Peter 2:23)
“When we try to control something that cannot be controlled, it will make us feel out of control. We really cannot control anyone. We can hope to influence in a positive way, but we cannot control. Even God’s two children (Adam and Eve) blew it because He did not control them. When things went wrong, God did not ask whose fault it was, He only wanted to know, ‘What happened here?’ Feeling or being made to feel another’s pain is not a picture of Biblical pain bearing (suffering). ” **The Stages of a Man’s Life, pp. 53 and 54
“Pain is the easiest way for evil to produce fear. More pain means more fear, which means more power over others—except for those who do not fear pain. This is why we must learn not to fear pain.”
Upon hearing all this, in the beginning I wasn’t certain what JW meant by “Those who don’t fear pain.” I now understand his emphasis on learning to feel pain and not avoiding it. Learning to feel my own pain (and only my own) and not allowing someone to control me by fear of pain is God’s kind of suffering as a faithful servant. As we feel our pain and don’t run from it by medicating with an addiction, and we turn to Him for comfort or get it from someone as Jesus with skin on, the fear of pain goes away.
“Satanists fear pain but they don’t fear using it on others. We who have suffered well (felt our pain while staying relational and acting like ourselves) are free from the fear itself.”
I have found it much easier to love in a healthy way since being freed from the fear of pain itself. I encourage you to find a place and a person who can help you feel your pain and get healing. It is worth what you have to go through and what makes talking about pain ‘joyful musings.’