We want to start by saying that in this episode about pain we aren’t talking about people with chronic pain caused by a severe accident, injury or disease. We don’t want to minimize pain that is caused by those reasons.
Americans want to avoid pain at all costs. About half of those who take over-the-counter pain pills admit to exceeding the recommended dosage. According to a 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it was estimated that 2 million Americans misused prescribed pain medication. We engage in many different types of addictive behavior to self-medicate and provide us with an escape, distraction from, or numbing to our pain. Addiction involves a compulsive behavior that leads to negative consequences. Individuals struggling to cope with painful emotions such as depression, boredom, stress, loneliness, fear or anxiety seek to provide immediate relief by engaging in their addictive behavior. The addict chooses immediate avoidance of pain rather than long-term self-care.
Buzz experienced a lot of hurt during the ministry years of his life and most of it came from the people who were supposedly the most mature, godly people. He chose to self-medicate with a porn addiction. It brought him to a crisis which forced him to address his addiction in order to save his marriage. Starting the recovery process was extremely hard and took years of working through the pain and addressing not only the addictive behavior but his underlying belief system.
Pain can be caused by a variety of reasons:
- Pain can be caused by the consequences of our own choices.
- Pain can be caused by an accident or act of nature that was totally out of our control.
- Pain can be caused by an injustice committed against us. This is another case where our pain isn’t caused by us and isn’t our fault.
Carol has been around a lot of pain in her life that came from other family members as well as growing up in Africa and her family moving back and forth from Africa to the U.S. and leaving friends. Later she experienced a lot of pain and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. As she chose to address that pain through forgiveness and replacing the lies she was believing about herself with God’s truth, she experienced not only God’s peace emotionally but also physically within her body as the inflammation started to decrease.
Whenever we experience pain in our life, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, instead of just trying to avoid, deny, suppress or escape our pain we probably need to address it. Our pain is there for a reason. Sometimes pain can be good. It’s trying to get our attention and let us know something is wrong. Let’s be attentive to our pain and try to figure out why it’s there instead of trying at all cost to avoid our pain. We experience the most growth when we face our biggest difficulties, including our pain.