Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, sharing your pain, pouring out your heart and soul, only told to be told, “It’s not that bad!” Tune in to today’s podcast episode to find out if it is “that bad”.
What is Comparative Suffering?
What is empathy?
Why Comparing Pain is Bad?
How can we do better when talking about our pain?
Background Scripture: John 21
Question for the week: What will you do the next time that you are tempted to rank your pain with someone else’s?
There have been quite a few times over the years when I would see someone that’s homeless on the streets and was deeply moved with compassion and empathy for their situation. Majority of the time, when this happened, usually one of two things were going on: either I didn’t have cash on me, or I literally didn’t have the money. I would feel bad inside, then let them know that I wish that I had the money to give, and then say, “God bless”. Then, they would usually nod.
What I said didn’t fill their physical need. However, saying, “God bless” told them that I did care. Sometimes, we see Christians and non-Christians, and we wish that we could help, but for whatever reason, we just can’t. Satan often uses these times as tools to place a stronghold of shame on us. Money isn’t all that we can give others. We also have our time and our talents that we can bless others with. However, once we start the comparison trap, then this reality goes out the door along with everything else.
Peter and John faced the same situation with a man at the gate Beautiful, asking for money from the passersby. They didn’t have money to give him. They had something better: the gift of salvation leading to eternal life:
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
We thank you for when we have money to help others who are in need. We also thank you for when we don’t have the money, knowing that the best help that we could ever give is the plan of salvation. Please help us to remember this when we encounter certain situations.
The book Broken Pieces was released a few days ago. The poem that I wrote, which is also included in the book, can be found here. In this episode, we are dissecting the reason for the name, the chapters, and the overarching theme of the book. The introduction of the book will be read to help give listeners insight into wh Broken Pieces is really about. Does the issues resonate with them? And if so, how to seek ways for God to glue these pieces back together.
Broken Pieces Introduction Podcast Outline
Introduction of the Book Chapters
Reading of the Introduction
Bible Verse to Focus On:
King James Bible The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men
nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Luke 15: 19-22
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. (Isaiah 61: 7)
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)
That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. (2 Timothy 1: 12)
You can always tell what things are important to Jesus. That is why his last three words on the cross summed up everything: “It is finished.” He already knows the things that keep a high level of stronghold on us. Shame and rejection are just two of them. Shame is when we are perceiving ourselves as bad. This perception can be due to issues playing out in any of the following areas: financial, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, physical, and mental. Because we are all broken, we dump shame on ourselves, and then unfortunately we dump shame on others. Last week, we discussed the shame aspect of trauma here. When we wallow in shame, then we see ourselves as unworthy. We become deficient in self-worth. What did the scripture say about our actions in regards to shame? “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Rejection: It is Finished
Rejection hits the same brain wires as when we experience physical pain. When rejection plays out, we receive the hidden message, “You are not good enough”. You need to prove yourself. The next natural response to not being “good enough”, is trying to figure out what we need to do in order to qualify. Unfortunately, depending on our background, this could turn into a dangerous ground for Satan to get a foothold. Jesus was despised and rejected as he planned to take his place on the cross. He didn’t need to prove himself, or figure out how to get someone to like him because God, his Father, was all the approval that he needed, and Jesus is all the approval that we need. His life in exchange for our freedom: He was despised and rejected–a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Isaiah 53: 3
We can finally release all of the shame and rejection on the cross by remembering the last three words that Jesus said, ” It is finished”.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30