photo by Tatarize via Flickr
Have you heard someone minimize their pain? They say “I know I’m not the only one, or others have it so much worse”.
God is our Heavenly Father. If you’re a parent, you have some understanding of the way God works. If your child fell and skinned their knee, would you say “At least you still have your leg, some people don’t have legs.”?
You would comfort them, not compare their pain to someone else.
When we start comparing our pain to others we miss the point. Comparing ourselves to others doesn’t take our pain away.
Nick Vujicic was the Australian man born without limbs. Few could say they’ve had more difficult obstacles to overcome. Yet, he shares his feelings on this subject through this quote.
“We can’t, and we should not, compare sufferings. We come together as a family of God, hand in hand. And then together coming and standing upon the promises of God, knowing that no matter who you are, no matter what you’re going through, that God knows it, He is with you, He is going to pull you through.”
― Nick Vujicic
He’s telling us to take our pain to The Healer and find freedom. David did this throughout the Psalms. When we receive healing we are able to let go of our pain and allow God to use our story to encourage others.
Just like physical pain, if we ignore emotional pain, it doesn’t go away. It gets worse. We can bury it deep within, but it usually comes back with a vengeance. It becomes infected and we risk losing more by denying and minimizing our pain. We can lose relationships, intimacy with God and years of our lives to bitterness.
For years I remained stuck in the pain over my childhood abuse because I chose to deny and minimize it. Comparing myself to others only kept me locked in pain. When I finally chose to face the pain, there were those in my midst who said hurtful things like “You should have gotten over that years ago.”
God has since given me the revelation these people meant well, but at the time it only caused more shame…shame for waiting so long, shame for making a big deal out of my pain and shame for feeling the pain at all.
As painful as it was, it taught me not to minimize others pain. God showed me how to have compassion for others pain, not qualify it against mine or anyone else’s.
There is no shortage of pain in our world. It’s easy to look around and compare ours or someone else’s pain with another. Spreading shame is not the answer. Compassion for others is the answer.
Jesus modeled compassion for us. He didn’t qualify people’s pain; He healed them. He didn’t shame them, but He didn’t enable them to stay stuck either. He showed them freedom by dealing with the pain.
It’s our choice to allow God to heal it or hold onto it. Being real about our pain is the first step and then we face it with God’s help to receive healing. Then a testimony is born and others benefit from our healing.
Are you ready to face your pain and receive healing today? Please share so that I and others can lift you in prayer.