A Biblical view on self-mutilation, or “cutting”

Sharp knife, freedigitalphotos.net Although the act of people cutting themselves has been discussed over the last few years as if it were a recent fad, self-mutilation has been around for centuries.  The Bible mentions it as being a ritual in pagan societies.  It is first mentioned in Leviticus.  Throughout this book, God through Moses gives a whole list of practices that he commands the Israelites not to do because he wanted them to be a holy nation.  In the midst of the commands, God would sometimes pause to tell them why he gave them these commandments:

“And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” Leviticus 20:23

Among the things God abhorred was the practice of cutting–

“They shall not … make any cuttings in their flesh.” Leviticus 21:5

“Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves.” Deuteronomy 14:1

There were a few reasons given in the Bible why heathens cut themselves, such as to memorialize a dead loved one or friend (Leviticus 19:28).  But there were two more sinister reasons also mentioned.  One of them has to do with the worship of Baal as displayed when Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest–

“And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. …And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.” 1 Kings 18:26, 28

It was the common practice to self-mutilate when worshipping the false god Baal.  This scripture also reminds me of the self-flagellation that some Catholics and Muslims do to appease their false gods.  The other instance of self-mutilation is mentioned in the New Testament–

“And when he [Jesus] was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, …And always, night and day, he [Legion] was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.” Mark 5:2, 5Jesus healing possessed man, biblepicturegallery.com

In this case, cutting was a ritual of a man possessed by devils.  Taking into account what Legion did and that “the things which the Gentiles [pagans] sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils,” as it says in 1 Corinthians 10:20, we can conclude that the act of cutting is a ritual of those who are being influenced (willingly or unwillingly) by evil spirits.  In pointing out the problem of cutting, the Bible also points out the solution to be delivered from cutting.  That solution is to call on the name of the Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ, to be saved from Satan’s influence.  It’s only the anointing of the true and living God that can break this spiritual yoke over an individual’s life.

“…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–

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133 thoughts on “A Biblical view on self-mutilation, or “cutting”

  1. im 21 yrs.old i have been cutting for about seven years now.i believe i fall into the clechae- deadbeat dad.druggie step fathers.abusive boyfriend..thats no excuse for cutting,nevertheless,,seeing the blood running made me feel good.i cant put my emotions into words,or even know what i feel…so i cut,,that way i know exactly what i feel..pain. only one single pain. the pain i can control..atleast i thought…many years later im a scarred mess.i know i shouldnt do its like a drug..so addictive..the first time i feel stressed,sad,upset..i run for it..my method**its pathtic-i get a disposable shaver and crack the top piece off with my teeth leaving the metal exposed. i pop it out and throw the plastic shaver away.i hide in the bathroom and cut.sometimes for seconds,mins, even hours.some just scratches..some deep gaping wounds. all over my inside calf and left forearm.also up my stomach..it sickens me!!y do i do this!!!

    • @broken** Thank you for opening up and sharing your experiences. Personally I don’t cut, but I battle with a kind of similar problem. I pick at my skin in the same sense for a few minutes till hours at a time. I have a similar personal history and childhood, actually almost exactly the same.But we are not prisoners of the past. I have found so much freedom in Jesus Christ. Our bodies are the temple of God and to defile that temple is a sin. I have been freed from drugs, alcohol, bad relationships and the hate I felt for those who hurt me in my life, but I have not wanted to let this secret sin go. The bible says “whoever sins becomes a slave to sin.” When I have that first desire to pick, I hear the Holy Spirit (my conscience) telling me “don’t do it” and “your going to hate yourself for it.” Sometimes I listen and others I just want to feel that terrible and somehow “good” feeling. There are false pleasures that we get out of sin that makes us want to go back. But the bible says “Who the Son sets free is truly free.” Jesus is the Son of God and He really does set us free, but we have to choose to not go back, to be disciplined. By the renewing of our minds through the word of God, the way we look at sin changes. Also, “idle hands are the devil’s playground” don’t make yourself available when you want to cut. Get out of the house! Eliminate the things that trigger you to want to do it. Fight against the temptation. The bible says: “resist the devil and he will flee.” God bless you!

  2. If what you’re saying is true and you’re an actual person who’s actually doing this, you need both psychological and spiritual help. I don’t know what has gone on in your life that opened the door to this behavior, but the solution is calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as quoted from the Bible at the end of the post I wrote above. He died for all the evil things you’ve ever done and if you ask him to show you the way out of this, he will.

    I would suggest that if you have a Christian church nearby that’s non-Catholic go talk to a counselor or pastor there. Or if you can find a Bible, read the gospel of John or Romans. Your deliverance may be immediate or may take time, but you need to get help as soon as possible.

    • Wouldn’t it be far better to find a trained medical professional to talk to? God created medicine as a way to help His people, so it would be a great idea to use it. You should still talk to your priest, especially since there are a lot of Heretical “protestant” or “fundamentalist” churches out there trying to draw you away from the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the one He said St. Peter would build. So yeah, according to The Bible, this guy is full of s***.

      • @Simo,

        Yes,you are so righteous that you would refer someone to the lecherous Catholic Church where priests are known to sexually abuse people. And what’s with the cursing? Is that holy?

      • No, it’s being a realist. There is evil everywere, including in your congregation. Based off how you talk, you yourself probably have and act on impure thoughts regarding children. And your debasement of the Catholic Church quite frankly goes against the Bible, in case you forgot the part were Jesus says “upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And for the cursing, I know I’m not perfect. I’ve seen some pretty f***** up things in my time in the Corps, and it may have done some damage. I acknowledge the fact, instead of putting on a false air of perfection and superiority… The Lord is a loving and benevolent God, and he is not likely to condemn someone for struggling with illness and disease. You really do not seem to grasp the core concept of the Bible, … I’ve even met pagans and muslims who were better Christians that you could ever be, the way you act now. I just hope that one day you stop doing the devils work while defiling the name of Our Lord.

      • @Simo,

        Thanks for showing that you can’t be trusted when it comes to correct doctrine or correct practices. I’ve never had any impure thoughts about children, but you thought it would be a good idea to throw up that lie as a distraction away from the accursed Catholic Church, which is full of people who have impure thoughts about children. It’s kind of like accusing a person of being gay if they speak out against gays, including the perverted Catholic priests.

        The rock Jesus spoke about was himself, not Peter, as your false church teaches. Speaking of the gates of hell, your language is definitely a reflection of the God-forsaken place with the profanity you use. From the abundance of your heart your mouth has spoken, which is a sure sign your advice can’t be trusted.

        Then you have the audacity to say pagans and muslims are better Christians when I’m the one lifting up Jesus as the remedy to cutting, whereas pagans and muslims worship the devil. Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. Please stop promoting your fake Jesus and turn to the real Jesus of Nazareth who died for the sins of the whole world to bring us genuine salvation from our sins.

  3. I’ve struggled with cutting for several years and, to be quite frank, I resent the way this article both portrays people who struggle with cutting and the issue of self-injury itself.

    To begin with, I am a Christian. I was raised in a Christian home and chose to accept Christ as my personal Lord and Savior at a young age. As a Christian, I firmly believe that the Bible makes it very clear that I am filled with the Holy Spirit, making it impossible for me to be possessed by an evil spirit. I love God, but a lot of the time, different emotions and situations (as well as the addictive craving to cut) become overwhelming, leaving me feeling like I don’t even have words to express what’s going on inside of me.

    Rather than turn to Jesus with everything that’s going on and everything I feel, I sometimes choose to turn to myself and “handle” things myself by cutting. I know that it’s wrong, but I wouldn’t call it a result of demonic influence. I think the actual giving into the cutting would rather fall under the influence of the flesh.

    Secondly, I feel that this article overlooks everything that you (yes, you!) and everybody else has in common with those of us who fall into cutting. Anything you do when you’re stressed or overwhelmed that isn’t first and foremost turning to Jesus is no different than cutting. That last time you grabbed a pint of ice cream when you were stressed rather than prayed about it? It’s the exact same concept.

    In fact, you have SO much in common with those who self-injure that I highly recommend you pick up the short essay “Self-Injury: When Pain Feels Good” by Edward T. Welch. You can order it through any Christian bookstore for about $2.00. It’s an AMAZING essay (written by a Christian psychologist) getting straight to the heart of the issues behind cutting. I never felt like anyone else who wasn’t a cutter understood the process, mindset, and issues behind cutting until I read this essay. It’s really worth the two bucks.

    Thirdly, I believe your post completely misses the fact that cutting in and of itself is NOT the problem anymore than eating a pint of ice cream when stressed out is in and of itself the problem. Yes, cutting is wrong. Jesus took all our sins and pains upon himself on the cross and we should bring our hurts and sorrows and guilt to him rather than turn to inwards to ourselves in an attempt to dull the pain. BUT, while cutting is wrong, it is NOT the problem.

    You see, cutting points to the fact that there is something larger going on within a person. The person who responded above points to some of the issues that lead to cutting: abusive relationships, feelings of worthlessness, the inability to put emotions into words. When somebody is cutting, you need to focus less on the actual act itself and more on what is CAUSING the act, rather like eating disorders.

    According to Edward T. Welch (mentioned above), everything that we say and do says something about what we believe about ourselves, but more importantly, God. Cutting is one of the things that people do (and, like myself, often times use as a means to “say” when there don’t seem to be words to express the pain), and it says something about what they believe about themselves and God.

    Lastly, I believe that you are taking the last verse you quote kind of out of context. Jesus is ultimately the only way to be freed from self-destructive patterns of behavior including gluttony, cutting, under-eating, adultery, trying to please man rather than God, etc. The thing is, Jesus has ALREADY freed us from these things. At the cross, it was finished. Sin was conquered. Cutting was conquered. You’re right in saying that people need to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. It’s the only freedom from ANY sin.

    What I think you’re missing, however, is the fact that salvation and sanctification are two separate processes. As a Christian when I began cutting, I had already been delivered from cutting when I began cutting. However, becoming saved isn’t enough to make one stop craving cutting anymore than being saved is enough to make one stop craving heroin. There will still be withdrawls and continued cravings for it. There will be times when a person may slip up. Jesus won’t necessarily break one out of it, but he will walk one through it.

    And it will take time. It will most likely NOT be immediate, though with God all things are possible. It’s a long process involving the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of counseling, much preferably Christian counseling. Remember how there are issues BEHIND the actual act of cutting? In order to be cutting, one needs to be believing some pretty serious lies about oneself and one’s Savior. Those lies need to be conquered before cutting will stop. Even if the cutting stops, the lies still need to be conquered or cutting will just become some other source of self-destruction, whether gluttony or drug use.

    Like I said, I am a Christian and I have struggled with cutting. A lot! I managed to quit cutting without counseling after struggling for almost three years, but that wasn’t enough. After a year of not cutting, I started to want to again, and realized the importance of counseling.

    I’ve been in counseling for four and a half months, but I still have a long way to go, and I still mess up sometimes. Does that mean I’m not a Christian or am being demonically influenced? No. It means I’m a Christian. It means I still sin. It means that my sin of cutting is no different than the sin of lying. It means that Christ still forgives me and WILL use this for his glory.

    • This is a late reply but there is so much deception is this response. Cutting is NOT a normal activity.
      It is OPPOSITE of any behavior which is solidly helpful and healthful.
      And here is a huge TRUTH. It does not take Jesus months or years to set you free.
      Clearly there is a spirit NOT OF GOD who does not want to leave you.

    • Thank you for your post! Very helpful.. A loved one of mine has recently started and I was struggling with how to understand it as a Christian – and trying to understand how he could possibly be a christian and do it. So it was good to hear things from your perspective. I shall try get my hands on that essay you mentioned. All the best with it – I’ll be praying for you.

  4. C,

    I commend you on openly discussing your problem and it’s great that you’ve sought help to deal with it. I pray that you will continue to be strengthened in your fight.

    When I said those who cut are influenced by evil spirits, I wasn’t saying they are all possessed. The reason why I gave the examples of the prophets of Baal and Legion was to point out that when people resist God or make the choice not to follow him, they open themselves to the influence of evil spirits to make bad choices. The prophets of Baal were not possessed, they chose to do evil and by embracing it, their minds were susceptible to evil spirits. Legion, on the other hand, was possessed and had no control over some of the things he did. You’re right–Christians cannot be possessed, but their continued willful resistance to God opens them to Satanic influence of their minds.

    I understand the concept that sin is sin whether it’s cutting or gluttony. (BTW, when it comes to trying to drown my sorrows by overdoing it with food or drink is something I never have personally done, but I get your point.) Nevertheless, I’m sure you’ll admit that different sins have different consequences. That’s why God commanded under the old laws that an offender should make reparations in some cases while in other cases, an offender had to be executed. This shows us that there are levels of severity when it comes to sin.

    Although I recommend being counseled by a stable Christian, psychology (whether it calls itself Christian or secular) is mainly based on concepts established by Sigmund Freud, and is contrary to God’s principles. Psychology says that people are basically good and their problems are caused by the environmental factors they are subjected to, while God says that from within, out of the hearts of men proceed evil thoughts and wickedness which he acts on.

    Why do people cut, use drugs, lie, fornicate, etc.? Because they are caught up in the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of sinful life. That’s what a person needs to understand– not the touchy, feely, it’s-not-your-fault excuses that psychology promotes.

    This is why I quoted the scripture at the end of my post. Although Christ knew from the beginning who would be saved and he took care of sin at the cross, a person does not actually experience salvation from their sins until the moment they confess and believe that Jesus is Lord. No one can be delivered from a sinful habit until they confess it and forsake it (see Proverbs 28:13).

    Yes, as long as we are in this sinful corrupt body, we will give in to sin, but that doesn’t mean we should make excuses for them. We may understand how a person can give in to them because of our own experiences, but we have to also understand that being a Christian means we always strive to place our bodies under the subjection of the Holy Spirit so we can get stronger spiritually.

    Where sin was abundant, God’s grace was much more abundant. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that his grace will be more abundant? God forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, continually and habitually live any longer in it? As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of God the Father, we should also walk in the newness of life. Our old sinful nature was crucified with him, that our body of sin might be destroyed, that we should no longer serve sin.

    Remember King Saul? He was anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit to prophesy, but he eventually embraced evil to the point where he was vexed and influenced by evil spirits. Yet he was still anointed to be king but missed out on his blessings because of his sinful behavior. Nevertheless, he went to the same place Samuel the prophet did when he died (1 Samuel 28:19).

    • So what you’re saying is you refuse to believe other peoples problems are real, because you haven’t experienced it yourself? That seems like a rather narrow viewpoint. That’s like me saying you’re going to freeze in the depths of Hel because you don’t observe Vinterblot. You just don’t have the right worldview, and the compassion that He would want every one of his people to have. I hope that one day you find Jesus, and are welcomed into His church..

  5. No offense, but your article is lame. It makes it seem like you have never dealt with someone who is a “cutter” and have absolutely no idea or background for what you’re talking about. The people who posted responses to your blog seem to have far more understanding and knowledge about this issue than you do, even the person who wrote the jumbled first one.

    My suggestion? Do some more research, read some books on the subject, get to know some real people who really struggle with cutting, and then write a blog. And when I say “get to know” them, I mean get to know them beyond their cutting for who they really are and what is really triggering them.

    • Do some more research? “Get to know someone who cuts”? Who do you think you are advising? Some middle school kid?
      What arrogance you have. And I say arrogance since you are unable to recognize any truth on this post. Have you ever heard of the term, “unteachable” ? Go look in a mirror and see the term in its fleshly form.

      “For they traded truth for a lie”

      • The fact is that it is a poorly researched article that fails to use the most current tools that He has provided us. And you are condemning and berating your fellow man, when if you were a christian you would be supportive and loving.

  6. i agree with naomi. u just don’t seem to get it. C. . . seemed to have several good points and ideas about self injury. lots better than ur points. C. . .’s make sense and relate to relate to what i feel like and am dealing with, unlike ur thoughts. read the book C. . . talked about. my friend gave it to me and everyone who thinks they can say something or wants to say something about self injury should read it before they open their mouths, especially if they’re claiming to speak from a christian view point.

  7. Naomi and al,

    I’m not surprised that you agree with C and with each other. You all know each other and are either friends or relatives. How do I know? You all have the same IP address. If someone said something about someone I know and like that upset them, I would probably criticize that person as well.

    • Ha, good detective skills, Harry!

      Actually, when I read your initial article, there seemed to be an underlying harshness. I was glad for C’s reply (although I didn’t necessarily agree with it) only because your qualifying response was lovely to read. I felt it added an element of compassion and made the article easier to receive. I completely agree with what you have said, Harry (both commentaries combined), and have found it very helpful. Thank you.

      My daughter is cutting, and she is Christian. It is very sad and difficult to deal with. As her mother, I desire to protect her and limit the amount of emotional pain she feels; however, the truth of the Word doesn’t always allow for that, thankfully, and you helped to bring loving balance to the equation. I know that all I can do (which is more than enough) is to pray and ask God to bring her through this in a right way, that glorifies Him. But I HATE it, this cutting!

      God bless you, Harry. Keep up the good work.

  8. I confess. You’re right; we’re all friends and we’ve all been using C’s computer. The thing is, though, that Al and I were not criticizing your article just because of C’s opinion and the fact that she’s our friend. One reason the three of us are such good friends is because we all used to be cutters and we all know how it feels to struggle with it.

    C found your blog and showed it to me, wondering if she was the only one that felt like it was a bunch of bologna and missing main points. I read it and agree with her strongly, not based on the fact that we’re friends, but on what I’ve personally gone through. We showed the article to Al when he came over and he wrote what he felt, not based on our friendship, but once again, on what he thought about the article.

    So, yeah. You’re right. We are all friends and we did all respond using the same computer. In fact, I’m using her laptop again right now, so be ready to see the same IP address again!

    But just because we’re friends doesn’t mean that we don’t each think for ourselves. If I disagreed with her, I would have told her so and written a response agreeing with and supporting your points. But based on what I’ve gone through, I don’t agree with you!

    As someone who has actually struggled with and come out of this, I still think C’s points (which I’d heard in detail for the first time when I read her post) are really much more knowledgeable and understanding about the issue than yours are. I still feel, based on what you’ve written, that you need to get to know real-live-cutters and do some more research before presenting your opinion.

    Please understand that I’m not criticizing you personally (you know your Bible really well, that much can be said!), just your beliefs about this topic. Not because I’m friends with Al or C, but because I’ve been there. Because I know what it’s like. Because that gives me an understanding that you will never have.

    • Al & Naomi,
      I am not a cutter, my daughter doesn’t cut (yet) she bruises herself. I did have eating disorders anorexia & bullemia. I have also, as an adolescent hurt myself on purpose, I have banged my head against a brick wall until I split my head open and bled. I have in a rage slapped myself and pounded my fists until my knuckles bled. Anyway, the point I want to make is that harry, or the blogger who began these posts is pointing out the very thing you are all saying. He is however, making the point that our cutting, self abuse etc is larger than we are.

      THIS is the very point. WE are not the source and support for the universe. We are not God, therefore, we have to agree with what God tells us. If God tells me that cutting or self abuse or overeating or adultary or hatred is a sin against HIM and that it is demonically influenced why do we want to disagree? I think it is because we want to be more important than a simple sinner who Satan is seeking to devour, we want our problems and our hurt and our pain to be bigger than that of Jesus Christ and so we don’t want to admit we are weak.

      By arguing against an albeit simplistic approach to cutting, we are doing more of the same. We are saying NO to scripture and NO to God and yes to our own opinions of reality. OUr opiinons of reality have brought us to the point that we would abuse our bodies and yet we still fight.

      Any Christian who is intellectually and spiritually honest should be happy to admit that relief lies at the foot of the cross.

      Do i mean someone who is cutting is not saved NO!
      I was a Christian who had a ‘nervous breakdown’ after 15 years in a crappy marriage and an abusive church and began to smoke pot, drink liquor and smoke cigaretts! I wanted to DIE! I had to repent after about 1 year (I’ve been saved anywhere from 29-40 years, only jesus knows) because the consequences of my sinful self indulgence in despondency was ruining my family! It was more important to turn away from sin, embrace my savior and repent than to continue in a life that was hurting not only myself but others.

      The very fact that cutters or self abusers care so little for the anxiety and pain they are causeing others is an indication of the basis of the sin, not pain and humility but pride. I know from experience, i have been so thin i had to be in the hospital, i refused to eat, i have drunk alcohol until i destroyed my insides and consciously wanted to die, frankly it never occured to me to cut myself but i did slam my head into the cement. Anyway, don’t be afraid to see sin in yourselves, don’t be afraid to call it sin and not mask it.

      It is true that life sucks, i was raped at age 9, abused by schoolmates, abused by my husband, abused by my church (former church, our new one is great) and have been mis understood most of my life but Christ is only good and blessed so why quibble about this man’s blog? Why not encourage other cutters to repent and look to Christ? Of course they should talk to other Christians who have cut, of course they should do all those things, but this man isn’t lame, he’s being biblical and your arguments are rather lame and in my opinon very predictable. You should say you’re sorry for judging so harshly when you could have instead kindly built upon his statements which would have benefitted others instead of undermining the authority of scripture with more psychological speach which is largely not helping a lost world.

      • I think you hit the nail right on the head. Whether you’re saying “evil spirits” or “bad influences” or “the devil” it’s all the same thing: one’s inability to deal with emotions in a healthy manner. I’ve been dealing with cutting for 15+ years and have now been having trouble with other substances as a result of abstaining from cutting without developing better coping habits. I try not to BS myself and be realistic. One addiction replaces another, but doesn’t alleviate the problem: my emotions; my misguided decisions.

        Thanks for being the voice of reason on this post.

        liz(bian)

  9. You guys are entitled to your opinions and I don’t hold anything against you for disagreeing with me. You’re more than welcome to express yourselves.

    But I will reiterate that we as humans tend to give in to habits that are not good for us due to our sinful nature which sometimes leads to influence from evil spiritual forces. Sometimes a wrong done to us in the past becomes a burden to us in the present if we don’t talk it out with someone to give us the correct spiritual guidance like encouraging us to forgive the person who wronged us.

    No matter what the reason is for our habits, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all of you that are weary and have heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” Christ in our lives gives us the power to be healed when we submit to him and resist the devil which will cause him to flee.

  10. C, Naomi, and Al are three people who have had some serious problems and are just expressing their opinions. They’re not losers.

    Whoever you are, I’m sure you can express yourself with a little more class. Your language which I had to *bleep* out is unnecessary and there are plenty of other non-curse words in the English language you could have used.

  11. Your article did make me think, and i was glad to see those verses, so thanks for posting them.

    Clearly cutting is not okay. In doing so, we harm the body that God gave us.

    However, the verses mentioned in the bible refer to Baal worship and rituals for the dead. Something they did for false gods.

    The verses do not speak of people who are in so much pain that they would harm themselves in order to cope. Generally, people do not cut themselves as an offering, but rather as a sign that they can not cope any other way.

    So even if it is wrong, God understands our pain and the source of cutting for these reasons.

    Cutting is a mental health issue and not necessarily for false worship.

    I think we need to look at the reasons behind the action in order for it to be applied to those verses.

  12. Thanks for your comment. When I mentioned the priests of Baal, they did cut themselves out of worship for their false god. However, in the case of Legion, he was possessed which affected his mental health, cutting himself out of anguish.

    Yes, cutting is a mental health issue that can be brought on by influence of evil spirits or unforgiveness in an individual’s heart for a wrong that was done to that individual or because someone had a traumatic experience in their lives (like witnessing a murder or being raped). It can also be a spiritual issue if someone has been involved in occultic practices like witchcraft or satanism. Those who have been a human sacrifice in such practices, whether willingly or unwillingly, can also be affected. But no matter the reason for the cutting, Jesus Christ can bring healing if one looks to him for help through his word or through godly counseling from a spiritually strong individual.

    Jesus healed those who were “lunatic” (i.e. they had mental problems) when he walked the Earth and still has that same power today. The scriptures also say we as Christians should bear one another’s burdens. If we actually did this and would lovingly listen to brothers and sisters who had serious problems, just think about how many of us would save money that is spent on psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotropic drugs.

  13. I too have experience the same urges to handle my inner pain through cutting and self harm. I too am a spirit filled believer, and after every time I felt very heavy and ashamed that I hadn’t “handled” my emotions and my crisis better.

    The key for me, which has worked without fail, has been this. I have written scriptures about who I am in Christ on my bathroom mirror to see day after day. When I know I’m headed toward cutting, I will speak out loud the TRUTH about who I am, A child of God, a conqueror, an overcomer… but most importantly, when it gets to that point of the actual deed, I have forced myself to NOT and I say over and over and over again. “Jesus loves me, God loves me, I am a child of God, I am bought with the blood of Jesus. By HIS stripes I am healed” or something else from scripture that is equally as powerful and relevant.

    I have rocked in the bottom of my tub with tears streaming down my face, screaming at the top of my lungs “JESUS LOVES ME, I AM A CHILD OF GOD” and been filled with a peace that only he can bring on repeated occasions. The grip cutting had once had has lessened tremendously and I have found I no longer live under it’s influence, although it still tries to return from time to time, it HAS been defeated.

    Obviously, this is not a substitute for counseling. This is what has helped me through the crisis moments of will I or won’t I.

  14. i have a friend who im trying to help right now but have no idea what to do. She has had a very troubled past and been through everything. Cutting being one of them. shes recnciled with the majority of her past but as she was telling me she wishes people would just let her cut. She says because it doesnt hurt anyone else its okay. Its weird to hear her say that sense she has such strong faith. I tried to tell her about how are body doesnt belong to us but to christ but that didnt go anywhere. So what what would be the best call?

    • Advise her to seek medical help and find a therapist. God wants her to get better, and the best way to do so is through trained professionals.

  15. God allows us all to have a free will, so if someone has a problem and they are unwilling to let go of it, the most we can do is be there for them in case they need us.

    I would encourage you to pray, pray, and pray some more for her. If she’ll let you pray for her in person, do it, but if she’s not willing don’t force it. When you pray for her (in person or not) just pray in the name of the Lord Jesus that God will have the victory in her life.

    Since Christ was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities and by his stripes we are healed, claim his blood over her when you pray, so she can be healed. Also pray 1 Thessalonians 5:23 that her whole spirit, soul, and body would be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    You can also speak blessing over her from 3 John 1:2 that you wish above all things that she may prosper and be in health, even as her soul prospers. My final suggestion for prayer would be take a dab of oil and anoint her when you pray for her according to James 5:14-15.

    Last of all, in the times you’re not praying for her and you two are just hanging out socially, share a tidbit from God’s word that he revealed to you in your devotional time. It doesn’t have to always be profound. Every little bit of God’s word will help.

    These are just a few suggestions for you that I hope will help.

  16. thnks man that helps alot. ive been praying for her constantly and its actually been helping. shes been in better moods and i think things are getting better.

  17. What is your Biblical interpretation and regards concerning Transsexuality? As a Christian who resolved a deep personal conflict I have transitoned as having completed all of the necessary surgeries to reassign sex so as to meet my internal gender.

    What does God say?

    stellewriter@gmail.com

  18. Well, first of all I have to question your asking me about what God says when you’ve already gone through your procedures. If you were really concerned about what God thinks, wouldn’t you have taken your time to search it out before taking any action?

    Are you trying to test me like the religious leaders tested Christ by asking him all kinds of questions so they could level some accusation against him? Hmmm.

    Nevertheless, for the sake of anyone who would come across these comments, here’s the answer:

    I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:14-16

    According to the scriptures, we are all awesomely and uniquely created by God with his marvelous craftsmanship in the womb and he keeps a detailed record of every part of our body that he wants us to be born with even before they are formed. That’s how much God cares about us, even if we are born with any “defects”, such as deafness or mental retardation. As God’s creatures, whatever our physical makeup, we should follow David’s example by praising God for how he created us.

    We live in an ungrateful society that brainwashes us into thinking that the way we are is never good enough, so a large number of us are running around looking for Botox and plastic surgery to satisfy our vanity. And even after we get our procedures, we’re still not completely happy or satisfied. As stated in 2 Timothy 3, our society is full of people obsessed with self-love, unthankful, and in love with pleasure.

    There is nothing wrong with someone who wants to improve their quality of life when it comes to a paraplegic who wants to walk, a blind person who wants to see, or a deaf person who wants to hear, because these are things that Jesus healed when he was physically here. On the other hand, when it comes to someone wanting to change their gender, it presents a moral dilemma that flies in the face of God’s intentions.

    Romans 9 tells us that God creates us and can tell beforehand if we will be a vessel for his honor or a vessel of dishonor. This sparked the question that if God creates us a certain way with a purpose he knew ahead of time, how can he hold us responsible for our own actions? The reply, which speaks to your situation, is “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” [Romans 9:20-21]

    Therefore, who is anyone to question God by asking, “God, why did you make me this way?” when it comes to their gender. Paul mirrored the prophet Isaiah when he addressed these questions. Isaiah said,

    …shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? Isaiah 29:16

    Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!…Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Isaiah 45:9

    But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Isaiah 64:8

    What makes us male or female? God’s assigning us the chromosomes that determine what gender we are born. You can change your hardware [body parts], but you can’t change your software [x or y chromosomes] and it’s your software that really determines your gender.

    Your “deep personal conflict” is at its core evil influence that resulted from an evil done to you or something you brought on yourself or a combination of both. Why did you hate your God-given gender? There could be a number of factors. Your parent(s) could have raised you in a way that made you hate how God made you, or you could have been a victim of a sex crime, or you could have seen a movie that condoned sexually perverted behavior, or an evil spirit was welcomed into your life in some way like witchcraft or satanic practices.

    Whatever the reason, the final choice for the direction you went is all on you. As God told Cain to warn him before he killed Abel, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted [by God]? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” [Genesis 4:7] But each person must make their own choice to rule over their sin.

    • 1. Let them identify themselves. 2. Do not implant identities into anybody. 3. In Ur lengthy thesis of unsolicited counseling, you forget to mention FASTING. Have EEUU fasted for youth?

  19. heya
    i am a christian, or am trying to be the best one i can but i did sh for a while.

    i wasn’t a cutter for very long and i have actually stopped now, i hope.
    but is what i have done unforgivable, because i am a christian and being depressed has not been a million miles away from killing me.
    what i have done does make me sick to think i low i stooped but then again i can’t get it off my brain. im too scared to talk to my youth leader because i am afraid he’ll judge me in the way i have treated what God owns so badly.

    i do not believe in any way shape or form i am possessed and i haven’t been meddling with witch craft. im certainly not doing it to worship other gods. i believe in one God and have accepted Jesus as saviour. so why i self harm isnt associated with anything religious. it is purely the hate within myself, caused by my own mental instability.

    but thats just what i think, could i be wrong, have i messed up with my faith?

    does this self multilation take me any further from God more than any other sin would?

    love to hear your opinion and any advice to get my life back on track

    xxx

  20. Jo,

    Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the only sin that can’t be forgiven, according to what Jesus said in the scriptures and that is a sin done by people who have hardened their hearts so much that they have no remorse for their sins. So take comfort that you’re far from doing that.

    Once you believe and confess that Jesus is Lord and you believe he rose from the dead, you’re saved from that moment forward. From that moment what you do determines how many rewards you get on judgment day, not on whether or not you’re still saved. Jesus said, “He that cometh to me I will in no wise [under any circumstances] cast out.”

    The struggle you have is the basic struggle all us Christians have. It’s a struggle against our fleshly, sinful nature. Sometimes we struggle with certain weaknesses our whole lives while at other times our temptation to give in to our weaknesses goes away completely.

    I would give you the encouragement to do as Paul said, “Be not weary in well doing: for in due season, you will reap if you faint not.” Psalm 34 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”

    Since I don’t know what has gone on in your personal life, my advice has to remain limited. Could it be that you’re frustrated about certain things that didn’t go your way? If that’s the case, your self harm has self-centered motives. The scriptures say that “no man ever hated his own flesh, but cherishes and nourishes it.” Since there’s no such thing as a person hating themselves, when people do themselves harm, in some cases it’s because they hate the situation they’re in and out of frustration are trying to keep themselves from facing something they perceive as being too difficult to try to cope with, when in reality it isn’t if they just look to God for help.

    I don’t know how your church operates so I don’t know exactly what to tell you about approaching your youth leader. Some churches have loving youth leaders who know how to keep things confidential and give sound advice while others can use their positions to their own advantage and leak information about people if it serves to further themselves in some way. You have the Holy Spirit in you to grant you wisdom in that case so maybe you should read and study some passages in the Bible for comfort and God will lead you if you have your spiritual ears open to him. I personally find that Proverbs or Psalms are very practical helps for difficulties that may need a quick short term solution in my life.

  21. Well the thing is, i did hate myself.
    quite a lot. i had low confidence for a while and then one of my friends attempted suicide and it knocked me right down, another of my friends started on drugs and i felt it was my fault. i didnt hate the situation, i didn’t blame them, i blamed myself. i genuinely hated me and felt i deserved it. i needed to hurt myself for being such a rubbish person and such a bad friend. i needed to feel the pain and see my own blood because i hated me. and sometimes i have phases where i hate myself again.

    You may be but i don’t think you are a cutter are you or ever have been so you can’t fully understand.You don’t understand how horrible it feels that you can’t go a day with the feeling that you need to punish yourself. that you hate yourself so much you want nothing more to that to put a slice into your own flesh. So is your opinion on this that im frustration and am not having things go my own way because i don’t have perfectly happy friends?

    i know many people struggle with this kind of problem but i do not think it is basic, or something that should just be looked over as a sinful nature. it is depression. now because depression is medical, does that mean our spiritual lives are being affected, or do you see it as just an illness like any other?

    The main thing haunting me is i do feel so much remorse for what i have done but theproblem is i still can’t get the thought of doing it out of my head.

    My youth leader is fantastic well they both are. i can’t think of two more caring people i know. and the im sure the advice they offer would be some of the best i could ever get.im just too scared to talk to them about it.when i say scared i mean at the verge of panic attacks when i think about doing it.

    sorry these comments are a bit random i just i need to let all this out and know your opnion on this

    xxx

  22. Jo,

    Thanks for sharing. I know it’s the normal thing to blame ourselves when things go badly with people we know. However, in working out our emotions when dealing with people close to us who are self-destructive, we must understand that those people are individuals who have made their own choices and are the ones responsible for making their choices. Blaming yourself, although understandable, is really not going to help you or your friends.

    I had a classmate in college who lived across the hall from me who was a cutter. When I interacted socially with him, I tried to be a positive influence but in spite of that and in spite of him being surrounded by friends who cared about him, he attempted suicide. He had some personal family problems that we weren’t aware of and, yes, those of us around him blamed ourselves for what he did. His problems were compounded by his listening to Pink Floyd music, which has lyrics in songs like “Goodbye Cruel World” and “The Final Cut” that promote suicide and are laced with a spirit of witchcraft. All of that mixed with his use of drugs were a toxic mix that drove him to try suicide. Eventually, we learned that blaming ourselves wasn’t going to help anyone’s situation, especially his. We just continued to show that we cared about him and made ourselves available to help him. That’s all anyone can do, and that would include praying for them and giving godly advice when necessary.

    What you’re feeling is sorrow. 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 states that there are two types of sorrow. One sorrow is godly sorrow that makes a person feel sorry for offending God when they do something sinful. This sorrow leads them to repent of their wrong and drives them to improve themselves and their situation. The second type of sorrow is worldly sorrow that makes a person feel sorry, but they refuse to repent of their wrongdoing and being overwhelmed by their disappointment, frustration, and anguish, they can be led to harm themselves. This is the type of sorrow that we see in Judas Iscariot in the Bible when he commits suicide for having betrayed Jesus. It is the kind of sorrow that works death in an individual.

    Although it seems like you hate yourself, that is really not the case. Having sorrow that leads to depression is not hatred for oneself. You have a worldly sorrow that is destructive and if you don’t get help from a strong Christian individual, Satan will use it to his advantage to try to destroy you. God has something he wants you to do for him that could have a positive affect on others’ lives in profound ways that you may not even be aware of. But Satan probably has some idea this could happen, so he’s targeting you to try to hinder you from making any progress. Are you going to let him win?

    It’s great that you’re sticking by your friends in tough times, but you also need to surround yourself with friends that have a godly, positive outlook on life that will give you courage and encouragement to press forward in the things of God while experiencing his unspeakable joy. Paul warned the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15 that “evil communications corrupt good manners” when they were listening to negative people in the church who were attacking the idea of resurrection, causing people to doubt the truths that they had learned. When you only surround yourself with people bent on self-destruction, it will corrupt your good manners.

    So since you have fantastic youth leaders and they are clearly a gift from God, talk to them right away without hesitation. It’s obvious that they’re the ones God placed in your life to help you. God’s throwing you a lifeline through them, but you have to reach out and grab it as if your life depends on it. This is probably the path God has laid out for you for your healing to occur and for your victory over your struggle to manifest itself once and for all. Your fear of talking to them is unwarranted. It’s just a tactic used by Satan to stand in the way of your progress. I can’t emphasize this enough–you need to talk to them as soon as possible!

  23. what you’re talking about in the article is old pagan practices. it really isn’t the same as self-injury. it’s like those satanic cults who cut themselves to use their blood conjure up evil spirits or whatever. a self-injurer and a satanic worshiper really aren’t in the same kind of business.

  24. Whenever a person cuts themselves, whether for ritualistic or any other purpose, it’s all self-injury. When you put a knife to your skin and it draws blood, you’ve just injured yourself.

    The person who cuts themselves out of frustration with their lives or anger toward themselves, is listening to the same type of spirit that a satanic person or a witch is listening to when they do their rituals. So, yes, it’s the same kind of business which may have seemingly different goals.

    The old pagan practices are still in operation today because until Jesus Christ destroys Satan in the lake of fire at the end of time as we know it, Satan will always seek to destroy people since we are created in God’s image and he will always have followers since the human race is sinful and most of us gladly live in a state of rebellion against God.

    • I know this 2him@gmail.comblog is old and u may never get this reply but I encourage u to do a little more research. You seem pretty smart well educated. But cutting for religious reasons or rites is specifically excluded from the definition of self harm along with a few others. Psychology is not based on sigmeund freud. In fact if u told a psychologist today u respected freud they’d laugh at u cause they don’t agree with him either (secular and christian) counseling is an amazing tool God uses to heal ppl. I am a Christain and a recovering cutter and u really do need a new perspective on this issue.

      • [In fact if u told a psychologist today u respected freud they’d laugh at u cause they don’t agree with him either]

        Although psychologists & psychiatrists don’t always agree with everything Freud espoused, their fields are still based on his theories. They also mix in a little Jung and others’ theories. So you’re wrong about them laughing at anyone respecting freud. If they do laugh, it would be at someone like me who considers God’s word as more important than their man-made doctrines.

        I’m glad you’ve decided to turn away from cutting. I applaud your decision and praise God for it.

        I don’t know who’s definition of self-harm you’ve accepted, but the world system’s definitions of actions and habits often is contrary to God’s definitions. So since the world system, the Earth, and the Universe will one day pass away and since God’s word will never pass away, I’ll stick to what God says in his word and the definitions he gives through his prophets.

  25. So I am COMPLETELY upset with this article. I too agree completely with what “C” said in her post. I have been one who has struggled with self injury. I don’t condone it and I know it’s not right and I work to change that behavior. I believe Jesus does give freedom for self injury. There is ALOT of hurt that goes along with self injury and I believe God doesn’t look at a person who self injures or anyone for that matter with judgemental eyes but with loving eyes that cry with those who cry. I do think that you don’t really know what cutting is all about. The fact that you doubted that the first poster was real, says the basic fact. Never doubt a self harmers story. I know on the internet it’s hard to tell who’s real and who’s not but if that person really is a self injurer, you just blew your opportunity to minister to them and truly love them and care about them. Love unconditionally and don’t judge. If ya’ll wanna here more of my story check out http://www.speakdontbleed.com. I didn’t write this to advertise my website but to let those who do self injure have a place of support (not encouraging self injury but practicing speaking truth and fighting this battle among others who have dealt with the same stuff) instead of a place of judgement.

  26. Speak,

    The truth is often hard to accept when one is caught up in a behavior that someone else points out as not being right. “Don’t be judgmental” is an argument that’s often thrown around these days when someone says things that someone else doesn’t want to hear, but it’s not a biblical argument. Exercising judgment is nothing more than taking a look at a situation and drawing a conclusion. Jesus said in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” So we have the right to judge based on the knowledge God gives us through his word. And by telling me not to judge, you yourself have just made a judgment.

    When Jesus said “Judge not lest ye be judged” he was talking about making unrighteous, unmerciful judgments. That’s not what I’ve done in this post. I merely studied God’s word to see what he had to reveal about the spirit behind the act of self-injury. Whether you or any self-injurer admits it or not, cutting results from influence of evil spirits and in the case of unbelievers, it’s possible that possession by an evil spirit may be involved. Influence from evil spirits can come through various channels or circumstances as I mentioned in my previous comments.

    I mentioned what the Bible says because God’s word gives us understanding about ourselves and our situations in life while providing understanding and wisdom on how to handle our problems in a godly way. My words in this post were expressions of the truth with love in the hope that readers will receive help from the Lord to help themselves or someone else in this situation. That’s why I make no apologies for what I’ve said.

    As far as the first commenter is concerned, contrary to your judgment that I blew my opportunity, I believe you’re wrong. The fact that they left a comment means that something I wrote touched them. I made the comment I did because the way the person wrote was a little disjointed, but there was nothing wrong with the advice I gave. Advice that points to the Healer, Jesus Christ, who frees us so he can be glorified through us, is not wrong. And I should add that I prayed for the person because God has all power and can reach the person where they are.

    Ultimately, when it comes to presenting what the Bible says about something that a person disputes, my philosophy is let God be true but every man a liar, that I may be justified in what I say and overcome when I am judged (Romans 3:4).

  27. Its obviously we have a slightly different view on things and that’s fine, it’s pointless to chat about it when we don’t see eye to eye so hope you have a great day.

  28. this has been very interesting reading the comments. if you still check this, i would want to bring two things to everyones attention. regardless if the man of God is sympathetic, empathetic, or completely out of touch with the heart of a cutter at all, he gave scripture…as a christian i can excuse my addiction all i want to, but it doesn’t change the fact that the bible is God-inspired, word for word. cutting happened a long time ago, and it still happens today. why? because the sin nature is the sin nature, no matter what time frame we are born in. if you sin, the bible says repent.
    we have lost the art of rebuke. if you cut,you need to stop, and you need accountability. if you eat ice cream too much, you need to stop, and you need accountability. you are wrong though friend, there is a difference in cutting, and ice cream. that difference is blood. there is not a single covenant made from the fall of man till today that doesn’t require blood shed for covenant. blood of an innocent animal was used to rejoin covenant with God and man. abraham was circumcised to make a promise of his seed…blood was shed. when a man and woman join in covenant of marriage, the virgin woman bleeds, as a consummation of the covenant. (study the process of jewish marriage). today we accept the blood of christ because his blood was the final blood to be shed for sins of all man.

    when you cut, you are sheding innocent blood for someone… who? yourself? your pain? your torment? your emotion? you your yours? who is the the God of you? if you feel that christ blood was not enough to get rid of your pain, and you have to shed more blood for yourself, you are mocking the very thing ROM. 10:9-10 stand for. admitting that christ was raised from the dead, mean that the biggest part of being a christian is understanding that his death was enough for your stress and pains.
    when you bleed you mock and blaspheme the crucifixion, as if you say, “thank jesus, but i’ll take it from here” and then you make you mockery the same as eating a sweet when you crave it? NO! don’t mock my God like that. do’t make light of things he has done for me! old things have passed away and all things become new, you are a brand new creation in christ, and if you are a christ follower, you need to stop. just because we want to do something, doesn’t mean we have the right. you have become your own God, making sacrifices to yourself. it is years of abuse that has created a false pride, and a false self-worth. by destroying your body you are subconsciously say that you are enough for the omission of your sin.

    it needs to stop. i say this in love, because you are not the only one who deals with sins of who we are. don’t make light of your sin, and i won’t make light of mine.

  29. Wow, I respect your strong beliefs and your knowledge of the bible but I think you have had no experience of this topic and are coming to it from completely the wrong perspective. Yes self-cutting is a spiritual battle as well, but it stems from low-self esteem, depression and feelings of worthlessness, and the fact that you think a person cannot hate themselves shows how little you understand this topic.

  30. Charlotte,

    I understand that modern society likes to think that psychology trumps what we learn in the Bible, but I’m of the opinion that God who created us and revealed his truth to his secretaries–those who wrote the Bible–gave us his word as the instruction manual to tell us what makes us tick or makes us dysfunctional. Psychology, in my opinion, is a false science conjured up by folks like Jung and Freud to get our focus off God.

    I don’t believe in low self-esteem. I would instead say that people who cut are deceived about themselves and about their situation. If a person is depressed or feel they are worthless, it’s because they love themselves to the point that they have certain expectations out of life and if those expectations they have of themselves or of their situations are not met, they get extremely frustrated.

    This extreme frustration over wanting something better that they haven’t been able to obtain leads them to think that doing harm to themselves will alleviate their frustrations or rescue them from their situation. They want to be rescued by whatever means because ultimately they love themselves and feel they shouldn’t have to suffer what they’re going through.

    And when it comes to believing what God’s word says in comparison to what psychology says–if the two are in conflict with each other–I say “Let God be true, but every man a liar” [Romans 3:4]

  31. I have read your article and read the responses to your article.

    I must say that this article is absolutely correct. Without a doubt in my mind, especially as a person who has self harmed for several years of my life, this is the reason why people self harm today.

    We, as a culture, have been subliminally influenced by the media (be that, music, movies, television, and books) to embrace occult/satanic ideas into our lives.

    And by embracing these ideas and giving them room in our lives it has pushed us into places where we treat our body, which is a temple to the living God, in horrible ways.

    The adversary has convinced the world that demon possession/influence only happens as detailed in movies like The Exorcist. It is more than possible to be subtly influenced into a state where we feel trapped and helpless and decide to self harm.

    I have lived that experience and now live with the consequences.

    Looking back at my life and reflecting on what I have done (as well as my associations/environment, the socially constructed expectations that I was trying to follow and the things that I watched, listened to and read) this is the only reasonable explaination.

    Once those things changed and I actively pursued the truth and (re)discovered that Jesus Lives and our advesary seeks nothing but the destruction of life and has poluted the things of the world the behaviour left.

    So, Harry, thank you for this post, even if no one else believes you and thinks your crazy. I appreciate that you identified self harm for what it is and did not sugar-coat it under the umbrella of mental illness.

  32. Wow, I started out looking for a post like yours. My neice told me last night that she used to cut herself and is starting to want to do it again. Things in her home aren’t as they should be, never have been. I knew there was a spiritual reason behind it, I just didn’t know what or where to find it. I didn’t know where to start in my prayer for her.

    I appreciate that you brought the scripture out. I’m totally out of the loop on cutting. I just knew it was bad and a sign of how bad things really were for her, and a sign of something major going on. She has “played” at being a Christian when she has been with us but never given her heart over to Him. I could just hear (read since it was while we were IMing) the helplessness and hopelessness in her. I can’t practically help her, her mom won’t allow it, or help her herself, but now I know where to start with prayer.

    I guess I said all that to say, Thank you for pointing out the scriptures and bringing light to this for me. I can run with this!!

  33. Val,

    Thanks for sharing this situation. I pray that God will continue to grant you wisdom in your prayers and that your niece will be set free from her spiritual bondage.

    “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26

    • 1) you actually think that there is NOTHING wrong with cutting and harming yourself!!?? wow
      2)you cant hate someone you dont actually know…
      3) I have a friend that cuts and burns her arms and I am sure as heck glad they dont have you as a friend to tell them that its okay for her to do so and that its “normal”
      you are a sick person…

  34. My article is truthful and accurate. When people are confronted and shown that their sin is wrong, it’s rather normal for them to respond as you have. But that doesn’t mean it’s right.

    Deep down inside yourself you know what you’re doing is wrong and that’s why you’ve lashed out against me. The fact that you called it self harming, when the word “harm” is a negative word by its very definition, shows that you really believe it’s not right.

    You came across this article because God is trying to reach you. He wants you to be free from this spiritual bondage because he loves you and wants what’s best for you. Jesus Christ died for this sin and all of your sins so you can be made free in him. All you have to do is believe in him. God loved you so much, Marluxia, that he gave his only begotten Son that if you believe in the Lord Jesus, you will not perish but have everlasting life.

  35. Hi,
    Just wanted to say I find both sides of the argument helpful thank you for both sharing C and harrygaylord.
    I am a Christian who is not a cutter but had a twin sister who does. She stopped going to church when someone explained similar verses to the ones you used harry, I think alot of what you say is right but later experiencing depression myself as a Christian I would say sometimes you are more prone to spiritual war fare. With things such as cutting or depression or any time of suffering perhaps thats when satan accuses most or it is more obvious then others..dont get me wrong we are always under attack I am thinking of Job and David and others of the bible who felt it more so at times….loved C S Lewis Screwtape Letters and really recommend it.
    Also look forward to reading the book C recommended. I think you are also right to be frustrated and say most ppl who havent experienced dont know I certainly dont! Sin is sin is sin and we are all sinners it is just about who will call our saviour that makes the change.

  36. Wow some of us do not even know some of the weird things going on in this world or should i say in America or could it be true that America is Babylon the Great as said in revelations. I don’t even like cutting my finger nails unless i really need to, how much more cut my own flesh. This has sent chills down my spin. I also had serious problem but never thought cutting myself would solve them or relieve me of it or any problem. wow am shocked.

  37. This website is much needed. The troubles with self-mutilation are too much to list, most people will need a therapist for a nice long time to get through it. Without the hope that the teachings of Jesus bring, without the positive examples of many mentally healthy people, I might never have had a chance to start recovering from mental illness. The main problem with having self-mutilation or drug abuse scars is that it automatically means you are stuck with something that most people cannot understand, are in shock of or are in hate of. So, if you’re hating yourself and believe most people are going to hate you for being mentally ill with self-mutilation disorder or needle drug addiction or suicidal tendencies, you’re going to need caring people around you. If you’re all alone, the love of Jesus is available to you and if you’re very unsafe, then you don’t need to go to church, you might need to go to the mental health ward at the hospital – I have and they are very good people who care and can help, but like anyone else, not perfect, and probably not religious at all. After many years of secretly being in therapy, hiding my past, I am able to hold a job, be alone on my own and seek a life I like. Best thing might be to finish college first. It is very difficult when you have to be wearing long sleeves 365 days a year and not just as a fashion statement! It gets hot, but don’t worry that much, because you can find ways around it, to stay more comfortable. There are surgeries to reverse the scarring, but they are all very expensive. Coping strategies come in all kinds, not always the obvious ones, so your best bet is to stay with therapy and otherwise keep trying to have a life you like, with things and entertainment you like, even if you’re so miserable and broke you don’t know how many years it’ll be before you get anything good. Jesus teaches that, he’s the best and he loves everyone equally.

  38. hi, this is all fascinating. I have a headache from reading it all!
    I am a 20 year old, self harmer for about 10 years now. Also struggled with bulimia, promiscuity/sleeping around, shop lifting, drugs, alcohol and suicide attempts.
    But anyway, I know all that is wrong and all, like, I’m a Christian too, so I know its a sin and that Jesus has already paid for my sins on the cross. But for me to say that I actually don’t want to stop cutting and burning myself, does that make me not a Christian or something? I got kicked out of a church once coz apparently its impossible to be a Christian and deliberately harm myself. Why that meant I had to leave the church, I am yet to understand.
    I have been hospitalised and rehabilitised and in therapy and all that for years now, and honestly, I’m just not ready to stop. I don’t want to, not yet anyway. I will when I’m ready. But in the meantime, for me to continuosly, deliberately disobey God, what does that mean? that I can’t ask for forgiveness coz I’m obviously not really sorry? I do consider myself a Christian, I do attend church and stuff. But I am just not sure, if, according to God, I am actually a Christian.
    Do you have any thoughts (or better yet, facts) on this?
    I am doing well staying away from all my other stupid unhealthy addictions, its just the self harming behaviour that I am confused about.
    Thankyou for your time :)

    • I can’t say whether or not you’re really a Christian. That’s between you and God. The Bible says we should examine ourselves to determine if we are really in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).

      The fact that you admit you’re wrong and you know it tells me that if you are truly a Christian, you are more concerned about what YOU want instead of what God wants. You, like a lot of churchgoers, have shown by your words that you are selfish and carnal (doing what pleases your sinful nature) and are actively resisting the Holy Spirit. If you’re not willing to give up your sinful habit, then you will find your sin leading you further away from God and yourself giving into other sins, if you haven’t already.

      My only advice to you is to repent of your sin and run back to God. If you’re not willing to change your ways, why seek my advice?

  39. Hi, I just read this page. I’m a (now infrequent) cutter, and have been for years. I’m also bipolar, and have found all my ambitions were wrecked because of it. I am also a Christian. I disagree that self injury is necessarily a sign of demon possession/influence. Mostly because there are 9 mentions of cutting in the Bible, and only one of them is connected to worship of false gods (1 Kings 18:20ff) and one to demon possession (Mark 5). The other incidences (Deut 14.1; Lev 19:28; 21:5; Jer 16:6-7; 41:4-5; 47:56; Hosea 7:14). These refer to the practise of mourning the dead in Canaanite culture at the time. There is no suggestion in the text that this mourning involved idol worship or demons but was rather a custom which was not to be followed.
    I am not suggesting that SI is a good thing: the bible clearly says that we should not cut, arguably because we should not deface God’s temple (the body – 1 Cor 6:19-20) but primarily because our blood is precious (Ps 72:14) and because there is simply no need to cut – Jesus’ blood purifies from all sin (1 John 1:7), we are not required to make such a sacrifice as it has already been made.
    There are many reasons for self-injury, and I do think low esteem is part of it, it certainly was for me. However I do see your point in that when I cut I feel a sort of glory in self-destruction which is essentially pride in self. Albeit in a perverted way.
    Anyway, I’m in the process of writing a site about SI and Christ, and anyone can get in touch via spelk @ hotmail dot co dot uk

    • Thanks for sharing your testimony, Emma. The Canaanite culture was centered on the worship of false gods and their practices stemmed from this worship, including cutting. Canaanites worshiped Baal and part of Baal worship was cutting, which is why I pointed out Elijah’s contest with the priests of Baal. This is the overall context of the scriptures you listed. When God told the Israelites what to avoid when they came out of Egypt, he gave them the reasons for why they weren’t to do those practices. Deuteronomy 18 sums up the previous chapters of God’s commands with this statement that also covers what was said in Deut. 14–“For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee,” [Deut. 18:12].

      He also gave this reason for forbidding cutting and other heathen practices mentioned in Leviticus 19:28 when he paused in Lev. 18:24 to say, “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you.” Then he reiterates this with a similar statement in Leviticus 20:23–“And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”

      So the context of all the scriptures you listed were concerning pagan practices, which God hates, because he tells us in Leviticus 17:7 and Deuteronomy 32:17 that these people were sacrificing to devils in all of these practices.

      Emma, you don’t have to be an infrequent cutter. You can be rid of it once and for all in your life if you are determined with the Lord’s help not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in the Lord Jesus. I would urge you to read the Authorised Version, otherwise known as the King James regularly, pray, and meditate on them. I know if you do this in the name of Jesus, you will find yourself completely delivered just as our Lord wants you to be. I can tell you are somewhat familiar with them, but have you really allowed them to get into your spirit? Try re-reading the gospels in the KJV without any distractions and accept them as completely true without doubting and you will be delivered. My prayers are with you for your deliverance.

  40. Hey :) I don’t cut myself or do any of the other things mentioned. I’m a Christian who loves the Lord and is trying to live a life holy and pleasing for God. I’m also trying to be an example for others (especially my friends). That is why I looked up this article. I’m very thankful to have found it. I pray God bless you and continues to use you!

    So, getting to my point. My friend mentioned being very depressed and living a double life: happy, joyful and perky with our group of friends but while at home moody , rude and just depressive. This came as a shock to me. She told me she’s never cut herself but has thought of it several times but has never had the courage (for lack of a better word) to do it. She says she hates the idea of cutting herself but she feels there is control in afflicting that pain on herself. I’m glad she doesn’t cut herself and I don’t want her to.

    So, what should I do? (along with praying… cause I’m already doing that and yes I do believe there is power in prayer) Is there anything I should say without being pushy or insensitive? I want to help her and I know only God can change lives and give love that surpasses all understanding but I want and feel I should not leave her alone. Thank you and God bless. -A caring friend :)

    • Thanks for sharing your concern about your friend, caring. There are several questions that come to my mind when you talk about her. Is she saved? Does she attend a Bible-believing church? Why does she act differently when out with the girls than she does at home? Does she have some unforgiveness towards someone at home? These are just some things for you to consider.

      The fact that she hasn’t cut herself is something to be thankful for. The advice I would give you would be about the same as I gave “christian brotown” in my comments above. Just being around as a friend who’s a Christian may be all that you need to do for right now. Sometimes that’s the best sermon we can preach to someone. And if you haven’t let your friend know you’re praying for her, let her know.

      Finally, I’d say that when the opportunity presents itself when you’re socializing with her, just drop in what the Bible says in a matter-of-fact way about a topic you’re discussing and why you believe what the Bible says. I’ll be praying for you and your friend regarding your concerns. Take care.

  41. Thank you for your research and Biblical insight to a frightening and sensitive subject. I’ve recently learned that my 17-year old son is a cutter. He is the middle of three sons, the other boys are 18 and 13. Aaron is model boy in every sense of the word: honor student, athlete, a Christian active in church youth group for many years, respectful, well-regarded by peers, teachers and coaches. He has told me his reason for cutting is not due to inner turmoil or pain but to strengthen his will against repeated sins he’s committed. “Doing something hard, like hurting myself, makes me stronger to resist temptations.” Though I am confident your responses to others are comprehensive, for his benefit I would like you to speak to his specific perspective. Thank you.

    • Thank you for sharing what your son is experiencing. I know as a concerned parent, it can’t be easy for you knowing your son harms himself. What he has told you, that hurting himself makes him stronger to resist temptations, is very similar to the reasons that Muslims and Catholics use for the practice of self-flagellation (flogging themselves with cat-o-nine whips).

      The Bible tells us in Isaiah 53:5 that Christ ” was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” And the apostle Peter explained it further in 1 Peter 2:24 when he tells us that Christ “bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” When Jesus was crucified and put to death because of our sins, he suffered for ALL of our sins–our past sins, our present sins, and our future sins. He suffered physical harm to his body so we would not have to suffer physical harm for our sins. When he took the blows from the whip at his trial, the stripes from the whip on his body were taken on our behalf so we could be healed physically, mentally, and spiritually.

      Since Christ suffered so we could be healed, it is totally unnecessary for us to harm ourselves. As a matter of fact, harming ourselves would be an insult to God since we’re telling our Father that his son’s sacrifice was not good enough. It is like telling God that we can’t accept the healing he has already provided for us and this is showing a lack of faith in what Christ has already accomplished for us.

      If we want to become stronger to resist temptations, all we have to do is follow Christ’s example when he was in the wilderness and was tempted by Satan. He fasted, he prayed to the Father, and he quoted the word of God to resist the devil. As James 4:7 says, when we submit ourselves to God we then resist the devil and he will flee from us. When Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4, he wanted Jesus to harm himself, but Jesus said that would be tempting God when he told Satan “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

      Finally, I’ll share what 1 Corinthians 10:13 says–“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” God always makes a way for us to escape temptations, but we must submit to him to see that way of escape. When we harm ourselves, this is giving in to the temptations that lead us away from God and this not only harms a person physically, it harms them mentally and spiritually. Satan knows that God has some great things in store for Aaron and the devil is using self-harm to keep him away from the calling on Aaron’s life from God.

      As God told Cain “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” God has given us the ability to rule over our sins even when we fail. And I’ll say to Aaron as Paul lovingly told Archippus in Colossians 4:17, Aaron “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.”

      I’ll be praying for you all.

  42. Thank you for your prompt and thoughtful response, which I will share with Aaron this weekend. He is a good boy who wants to serve God faithfully. I appreciate your prayers; please continue to ask for God’s blessing on Aaron’s life and for deliverence from misguided thinking. Regards, Susan

    • Hi,
      a few months ago a mum confided in me her teen daughter was regularly practising si. Although the mum wasn’t a Christian (she has been on an Alpha course with me but didn’t invite Jesus into her heart, she knows about Jesus but doesn’t walk with Jesus) she wanted me to pray for her and is looking to me to help. I told her to ask Jesus into her heart and to seek guidance from Him. I’m not sure she has responded to that. I am seeking God about what I should do and trying to prepare to visit/help her. Have you any advice? A few years ago the Dad left for another woman and has had a baby. I know this is a big factor in the pain the daughter has.

      • Thank you for your comment. What you say raises several concerns I have not only for your friend and her daughter, but for you also and what I’m about to say may offend you, but I’m telling you out of godly love. I know about the Alpha course. Although it speaks of Christ and claims to have Christian principles, much of what is practiced like the uncontrollable laughter, shaking, and making animal noises is not Biblical. It’s teachings are geared toward ecumenism, which is basically a compromise of Biblical Christian doctrine for the sake of a false unity. I would urge you as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ to come out from among them. The only course we as Christians need is taught by God himself when we read, study, and meditate on God’s word regularly with the help of the Holy Ghost who dwells in us to lead us into all truth. “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him,” [1 John 2:27]. To find out the truth behind the Alpha Course, follow this link: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/alpha.html

        Now, if I haven’t offended you to the point that you’ve cut me off, I will address your friend’s situation. You’ve witnessed to her about the Lord Jesus and that’s great. The ball is now squarely in her court. If you visit her, just be a friend who shows the love of Christ and pray that God will grant you wisdom to inject his word into the conversation. God will lead you into what you should say or do. He may ask you to fast. He may prompt you to pray with her and with her daughter. He may ask you to anoint them with oil as you explain what that means from the scriptures so they’ll understand it.

        You don’t know what the daughter is into behind the scenes, so ask God to reveal it to you so you can address it properly. If you talk to the daughter you may have the opportunity to share what God’s word says about healing and about self-injury. What leads her to self-injury may also surface in the conversation. I would suggest you do a lot of praying, meditating, and memorizing of God’s word so you can be prepared for any situation that may pop up, because there’s the possibility that resistance from the devil may show itself in some way in this situation. But remember, we are more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

      • Its pretty sad when one refers to Bob Dylan for a truth but here it is: “You have to serve somebody”.
        If you don’t serve God in an active way then by default you will be serving satan. There is no “other” box which you can mark when asked, “Do you serve the living God?”

        And until we are firm in our belief, what can we really do for anyone else? When the disciples were unable to cast out an evil spirit from a child, Jesus was frustrated and said, “How long must I suffer this unbelief?”

  43. As a mother of a young teen girl who I found was “cutting” recently, this too has become an issue in my life. I am a Christian, and I love my daughter with all of my heart. When I first saw what my child did to her own body, I felt paralyzed with fear and a tremendous amount of guilt for not fully realizing the extent of her sadness and what may be going on in her life. I knew she had some troubles at school with feelings of fitting in, but she didn’t want to talk about this with me and her response was always “things are fine, mom”.

    I’ll never forget the night I first discovered this… I had this strong sense that I NEEDED to check my daughters arms. I was heartbroken when I saw what she had done. This strong sense of guilt came from the fact that while I was busy with my work life and trying to provide for our family… I neglected my first responsibility which was to care for and nurture my child–how could I miss this?

    I can only speak in my specific case, but I agree with Harry. After discovering the cutting, my husband and I went through all of her personal things and we found drawings of very dark images— I cannot imagine where these would be hiding in the mind of a 13 year old girl without influence of some kind. Then again, we hadn’t been responsibly limiting her Internet/media activity, and in addition found her visiting sites with blogs about self harm and suicidal stories almost obsessively using her notebook. We are beginning Christian counseling sessions after seeking guidance from our Pastor and Youth Pastor. I am constantly in prayer for her and our family. I have tried to pray directly with my daughter, but in these times she almost mocks what I am doing. As a young child she accepted Jesus, but now states that she doesn’t know if she believes in God. We bring her to church, but it is a constant battle. My biggest fear is that if there are spiritual implications to her behaviors– they will be overlooked and labeled as a completely “medical” condition without addressing the inside as well.

    If you have any advice on additional steps that we can take in this as a family, please help. I want to continue to grow and help my daughter in any way possible through this– and I am continuing to seek the Lord in prayer. Could this be a case in where I should be fasting along with prayer for my daughter? I know Jesus speaks the need for both paired together in certain cases.

    – Laur

    • Thank you for sharing your story. From what you’ve said, it sounds to me as if you have already been following the Holy Spirit’s guidance in this situation, which is how you discovered all you did about your daughter. So keep on following those strong senses that you NEED to do certain things. Keep reading, studying, and meditating on God’s word. Keep praying even if your daughter mocks. The prayers of the righteous availeth much, as the scriptures say. When you fight spiritual battles, there will always be forces to resist because Satan doesn’t want a breakthrough to happen. So regardless of your daughter’s resistance to go to church or pray, continue to stand firm on those issues. You’re the parent after all and that’s your duty to God to raise your child as God would have you to raise her. Lastly, I’ll say that the fact you asked about fasting means you already know the answer. That’s what God has placed on your heart and since that is what he wants, he’ll let you know how often and for how long.

      You and your family will be in my prayers.

  44. I know people who otherwise can’t handle any pain, but when they cut themselves it feels so good that it is addictive. I’m sorry, but it sounds to me like satan is dumping the feel good hormones on these people when they follow his bidding. For some symbolic reason satan finds it gratifying when humans shed their own blood, and he rewards them with good feelings. It is a form of demon oppression for people who for some reason have allowed the devil into their lives – whether through demonic music, movies, or books. Maybe it is not their fault, maybe they have been exposed to demonic material before they were old enough to choose. But either way, Jesus is big enough to deliver, and they who go to Him will in no wise be cast out.

  45. Thank you for this website. I have a very dear friend (a non-christian)who cuts, seemingly triggered by reasons that aren’t that important. she has alot going on in her life that is a big deal, and im wondering if these little things are just the straw that constantly breaks the camel’s back and causes her to cut again.
    Also, she says she cuts because she doesn’t feel anything inside, and that it helps her feel something. how can someone not feel something inside? I can usually be ampathetic about people’s problems, but not that, because it is incomprehensible to me.
    Her mother (also a non-christian) gets angry when she cuts (probably from not knowing what to do about it). it seems like its the wrong attutude, and im wondering if I should talk to the mother about this, or whether it would only make things worse for both my friend and her mother.

    • friend,

      Your friend doesn’t feel anything inside because she doesn’t know the Lord Jesus in his power to save her from her sins. I’m assuming you’re a Christian, right? I would say continue to make yourself available for her to talk to. Pray about this whole situation & God will direct you on how to proceed with her in addition or in lieu of what I say here. This is an opportunity for you to tell her about Jesus. When the subject of cutting comes up again, tell her you came across something interesting you want to read to her. Then pull up Isaiah 53:3-6 & read it to her from your smartphone or ipad or laptop. After reading it to her, you can tell her that someone has experienced suffering way beyond the problems she has and that he did it on her behalf so it’s unnecessary for her to harm herself. Let her know that if she trusts in him, he can heal her of the emptiness she feels inside and he can free her of cutting and take away all the wrong stuff she’s done & the affects of all the bad stuff in her life.

      Then go into John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Tell her how Jesus died for her sins on the cross 2000 years ago so she can be cleansed spiritually. You can share Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Then you can share Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Let her know God wants to have a relationship with her so she doesn’t have to be alone when she faces problems & doesn’t have to cut herself when she has problems since all she’ll have to do is pray to him & he’ll help her if she lets him.

      She may not be receptive of what you tell her, but keep sharing these kinds of things in subtle ways over time and pray for her & her mother regularly. If she does come to a point of receiving what you say, maybe you can try to get someone at your church who is trustworthy & has been a Christian for a long time to counsel her. Preferrably a female. I hope this helps. I’ll pray for this situation also. May the Lord grant you his wisdom, knowledge, understanding, & peace as you deal with this.

  46. I don’t mean to sound critical, but…. Catholics, nor Muslims have any “false gods” you speak of. In fact, one of the most traditional Catholic prayers, said in every Catholic Church, on every Sunday states, “I believe in one God. The father almighty.” and, Alla, the muslim God, is the Same God that any Christian worships. Thought provoking article, but you have some facts very wrong. And, some of your Bible verses are taken out of context.

  47. Thank you for this posting. It has help to affirm my husband and my, our, beliefs in the power of the cross! We have been and are dealing with cutting in our 18 yo daughter. She has left our home to be in the world but still claims to be a Christian. The hardest part has been her confessing that she knows it’s wrong and against God’s will, but is unwilling to give it up. We wanted to seek help for her and us as a family, but she didn’t want it. It’s been heartbreaking. The other difficult part has been how the youth group at our church has surrounded her with fellowship (not at our church) including the youth pastors there and yet, have not helped us as a family in anyway. We truly thought and have been praying for reconciliation with her and to get her the help she so desperately needs, but it’s like she is enjoying the attention and is unwilling to go to counseling. As far as I know, she was not being abused in any way, had been molested or raped, not beaten, not into drugs, etc. We are in prayer for her soul and all of this. Any words of scriptural advice would be welcomed.

    • puamama,

      I’m glad this post was helpful. I’m sorry that your family is going through this trial. It sounds as if you’ve done all you can. When people refuse help, there’s not much you can do except pray. Legally, your daughter is an adult now. You may have to take the route of the father in the parable of the prodigal son. He let his son go out on his own not knowing what would happen and just trusted that ultimately his son was in God’s hands and that God loved him more. This may be the best thing for the rest of your family to keep sane. I’m confident that God knows you care deeply about your daughter’s spiritual well-being so no matter how long you have to wait, keep praying and in the meantime turn your focus on other things that God wants you to do and praise him for the blessings he’s given you.

      • Thank you for your encouragement Harry. I struggle so with wanting to help her, yet it’s leading me to rely solely on Him through prayer. We’ve been doing pretty well to let her be, yet when she makes contact, it tends to open the proverbial “can of worms” on my heart. I know I need to just get over it and “let go and let GOD” do what HE will with her. And for those who claim SM is not of the devil, I have other thoughts for you. When she was here, the children “saw” things (dark people) in the room they shared with her. She is an artist, and “whatever” came to influence her to relate with her emotions to cut herself instead of relating to us as her family like she used to, slowly crept it’s way into her heart. It appeared in her artwork and became increasingly known, viewable and manifested as time went on. It was beginning to leach to the other children as well and a rebellious attitude was beginning to take root in ALL their hearts. I do believe the LORD delivered her out for the sake of our large family. Like I stated, we had wanted to get the help we needed, but she didn’t want it. Do you have any thoughts/scripture on how we should handle the youth group/pastor situation? That is the most heartbreaking thing as parents. Thank you again for your time.

      • puamama,

        Regarding the youth pastor & youth group, a lot of them want to be considered cool and acceptable to the younger generation so they seem to promote spiritual immaturity instead of prompting participants to spiritual maturity. You may want to consider Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4 to glean from them what you can for your situation:

        14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

        15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

        16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

        17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

        18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

  48. Pingback: G2SI: Christian Links – Believer's Brain

  49. I’m 15 years old, and I’ve been cutting myself for 4 years now. I’ve engaged in self-harm(of many sorts) for as long as I can remember, it’s always been how I’ve released negative emotions. I’ve attempted suicide about 5 times(it’s been about two years since I last attempted), and I’m fighting for my bad eating habits to not turn into an eating disorder for 3 years. And all of this started when I was too young to know that self-harm is a sin.

    My parents found out about my self-harm when I was 12, and they were as scared as I was. We talked about it, and nothing ended up happening to bring an end to my dangerous addiction. Actually, I just ended up hiding it better. Since then, every time I go into confession I speak with the priest about my self-mutilation. The last time I spoke with a priest I couldn’t meet his eyes, I was so ashamed because that was nearly 4 years to-the-day since I had first cut myself. I can’t believe I’ve let it get this far, I remember swearing I’d stop before I got into high school(I am now at the end of my sophomore year).

    But I can’t stop. This is an addiction, and a very dangerous one. I have many questions about addictions, but I don’t know who I can ask. One of my friends told me I’m going to hell because I fully know what I do to myself is wrong, though I continue. But I wonder, is my cutting addiction any worse than the alcoholism that is prevalent in my family? Is me cutting myself any worse than my peers getting high and having sex most weekends? I’m not trying to make my sin look lessor, or theirs greater, but is there really a difference? I honestly just want to know.

    The same friend who told me I’m going to hell said I shouldn’t be going to youth group anymore. In her words, I’m “toxic” to the church. Though, if self-harm is such a large sin, why do I not feel that it is? I’ve been discerning my vocation because I’ve felt such a large pull(push?) toward the religious life in the past few months. Surely God wouldn’t want a religious sister as sinful as myself?

    I don’t really know what I’m saying now, it’s really late at night and my thoughts are wandering. Though I suppose that getting them out here, no matter how scattered, is better than getting them out with a razor blade.

    -Erin

    • Erin,

      Yes, cutting is a sin that is bad. But that’s not the end of the story. You were created in God’s image, which means you are important. So important that he sent his son, the Lord Jesus, who was God wrapped in human flesh. Jesus was sent to “to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…” Luke 4:18. That means Jesus can give you power to overcome your cutting. Call on the Lord and you shall be saved and healed. Find out who Jesus really is.

      I would suggest you read the first 8 chapters or so of Genesis to find out why we are the messed up creatures we really are and then read the gospel of John in the Bible and pray to the God who can hear you if you truly are willing to turn from your cutting. He has forgiven countless people for all the sins you named. All they had to do was show they were willing to give those things up and wanted to change. You can’t make yourself clean spiritually. Only Jesus can do that, but only if you seek him. I would also suggest you not go to a Roman Catholic priest for confession, but go to a real genuine evangelical minister who is trustworthy to get genuine godly counsel. I’m praying for you in the name of the Lord Jesus.

    • Erin, I’m sorry to read of your struggles. There are plenty if people here, better informed than I on the self harm subject, who can give advise for that. I do, however, wish to address the comments from your very unwise and biblically-ignorant friend. Let’s look at what the bible says about sin. First, we are all sinners: we aren’t sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. Trying to measure sin on some sort of scale (your sin is worse than my sin) is like two people standing on the sea shore. One challenges the other to try to hit the moon with a stone. The first man throws his stone with all his might, and it sails through the air for 60 feet and then plops into the water. The second man throws his stone with such effort that it sails for 70 feet before it plops into the water. They are both impressed with themselves, the second man being particularly impressed that he achieved a whole 10-feet difference. What they fail to realise is that, despite their best efforts, their stones are so far away from their target, the moon, that they may as well have not bothered to throw them. We are like that with God. God’s standard of holiness is so great and pure that we could never reach them. That’s why He gave us Jesus. The bible says that NO sin is unforgivable, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, so your friend is quite wrong. As far as saying you are toxic for the church (and I can’t believe any professing Christian would actually say that), Jesus said that He came to save the sick, not the healthy. If you have placed your trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins (not Mary, not your priests, not your works [going to church every Sunday, performing penance, etc]), then you can have confidence in your salvation. You can trust and rely on Christ’s work at the cross. Your silly friend doesn’t know what she is talking about. The best way to protect yourself against wrong opinions and/or wrong teaching is to be able to tell the difference. Study the Word, and you will have an armour to protect you from the enemy and his lies. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, Erin, and find a new friend. God bless you, and I pray that as you committ yourself to walking with and serving the Lord, God will deliver you from self harm. There is some good advice in this article; I hope you heed it.

    • Yes, self-harm is considered a sin in Christianity. However, please don’t worry about not cutting. Question why you cut, and address the problem. If it’s just a matter of addiction, then there are plenty of substitutes for cutting. Squeeze an ice-cube, clench your fists, draw on your hands or wrists (this one worked well for me). And of course, pray. Stay safe!

  50. As someone who has cut themselves in the last six hours and who is, in fact, leads an adult Sunday school class, I must thoroughly disagree with your conclusions, because while you clearly did a topical study, you did not consider the underlying context of the passages that you pulled out. Trust me, I wanted a definitive yes or no answer as to whether self harm is a sin. Leviticus 20:23 comes after a long passage about sexual immorality and cutting wasn’t even mentioned thus I come to the conclusion that this verse and what God abhors is actually referring to sexual immorality and not cutting. Leviticus 21:5 is directed specifically to the Aaronic priesthood. Deuteronomy 14:1 and a parallel passage Leviticus 19:28 both make the command not to cut your body FOR THE DEAD. The qualifying phrase “for the dead” actually implies that there are situations in which cutting oneself would be OK. So the prophets of Baal cut themselves in an attempt to get their “God” to come and consume their offering. The Bible does not call them cutting themselves sin. In fact, they did sin, but the sin was idolatry not cutting. So demon possession or oppression can cause one to cut themselves as did the man among the tombs and the hills. This still does not make the act of cutting one self a sin unless they are cutting for the dead.

    Five years ago today, I was sent to a psychiatric hospital for the first time as a result of my self harm. I started about 2-3 months before that. From the first Saturday that I cut myself through today, I have struggled with why I do it, whether or not it is a sin, and how I’m going to be able to stop (I tend to replace behaviors and struggle with masturbation (which is definitely a sin) and eating disorders (which is another gray area as far as sin). If I’m not doing one, I’m doing another.). I will admit, cutting is not living up to God’s will for my life, but that is not sin; it’s part of our free will (even if sometimes it doesn’t feel that way). Cutting is not a sin unless done for the dead. In my case, it’s not. I do desperately want to stop cutting myself (at least most of the time), but then something happens and I end up with a spattering of new scars. Where is your love? Where is your compassion? You judge what you do not know when not even Christ judged while on the Earth. You point to this, because it’s something that you don’t do and something you find reviling. Consider your own lifestyle first, then cast the first stone if you are indeed sinless.

    • Unhappy,

      If cutting isn’t a sin, then why is your conscience disturbed when you do it? Why then would you call it self harm? Since when is God in favor of us harming ourselves? When the father went crying to Jesus about his possessed son who was prompted to throw himself in fire and water, Jesus rebuked the devil that prompted self harm. He also rebuked Satan in the wilderness when Satan tempted him to harm himself.

      As I stated in my post, pagans cut themselves for several reasons. “For the dead” was only one and the passage in Leviticus 21 makes no mention of doing it for the dead. I really feel sorry for anyone under you in your Sunday school class. Just because you teach does not make you exempt from having to repent of your sin, which you so desperately and deceitfully try to justify. You are so deceived by your sin that you go so far as to deny that the Bible called what the prophets of Baal did a sin. Worshiping Baal is the sin of idolatry. Yet you cannot even recognize it as sin. Anything done to glorify anyone other than Jehovah, including cutting, as the prophets of Baal did in worship of their false god, is a sin. You cut to glorify your flesh. “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity,” Acts 8:22-23.

      You tell me not to judge, yet you in your hypocrisy have made a judgment that I don’t love or have compassion. Your judgment of me is false. It is because of my love and compassion that I even tackled this subject because I desire to point out to those who struggle with this sin the way out of it. Cutting is a serious problem in our society and I want to see people healed and delivered from it. How is that not loving and compassionate? Yet you spread the lie there’s nothing wrong with it, which is an encouragement for people to remain in such bondage. Is that loving and compassionate?

      When Jesus spoke about not judging, he didn’t mean ignore people’s sins as you suggest. He was talking about judging without mercy and with a final condemning judgment as if to tell people they are beyond redemption. Art thou a Sunday School teacher, and knowest not these things? (John 3:10) All one needs to point out sin is a heart of reverence and obedience toward God, not sinless perfection as you stated. If we had to be sinless to speak against sin, then God would not have given us his words through men who had struggles. If we were to follow your mistaken conclusions that a person must have no faults in order to talk about sin, then we would have to throw out the Bible altogether. Jesus commanded us to judge matters in the correct manner when he said “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment,” John 7:24. This is what I’ve done here. You can attempt to justify your sins all you want, but they will still be sins. If you were to admit to your blindness, you would have no sin, but since you claim to see, your blindness remains (John 9:41).

  51. Please correct your quote of 1 Samuel 28:19. You stated the following:
    “Nevertheless, he went to the same place Samuel the prophet did when he died which was the place in hell reserved for saints “(1 Samuel 28:19).

    It should read as stated in the Bible: “What’s more, the Lord will hand you and the army of Israel over to the Philistines tomorrow, and you and your sons will be here with me. the Lord will bring down the entire army of Israel in defeat.” 1 Samuel 28:19

    No where does it say that Samuel and the saints are in hell. In fact, Samuel is listed among other well known saints of the Bible in Hebrews 11: 32.

    Hebrew 11:39,40 “All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.”

    While we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God…there should not be any harsh judgments made by we who are sinners of those who are just like us…it is God’s place to do this. You cannot be certain that people who have flawed behaviors are not suffering in their brains with illness instead of this “demonic influence” as mentioned in the Bible. Demonic influence is ANYTHING sinful. Illness is not a sin but is a result of a fallen world, and yet, there are religious people who are no better than the Pharisees who live by the law and not under the grace of God. It is those people who condemn and criticize those things they do not understand and use the LAW to do it.

    I reserve the temptation to make over-all generalizations of mental illness as a flawed character instead of a definable physical illness since only God knows the hearts of us all. If anything is to be learned from this dialog it should be that cutting, judging, suicide, lying, adultery, stealing, vanity, pride, etc…..everything under the sun is sin in this world…and not one is greater than the other except in the critical eyes of an unforgiving world. I thank god for His love and mercy and for His Son Jesus Christ in whom I believe and trust. Salvation is best said in John 3:16…..

    While we all struggle with everything imaginable in this world of imperfections we can know that our trust in Jesus is our way to eternal salvation and the Bible is the inspired word of God for each of us to draw close to Him and know His plan for our lives.

    My son was a Christian who struggled with depression for a long time. His prayer journals are now in my possession. He prayed to God to help him to not destroy himself and yet he died by suicide. What is a Christian mother to believe? Was this a test of faith…who failed? My son…or me? My son is in Heaven along with all the other saints…great and small….and my God has allowed me to know this through Jesus Christ. My son’s “suicide” note was his last drawing ….. his soul going to heaven, helped by an angel in a Light from above. That’s all I need to know….not a bunch of people and their own misunderstandings and judgments. ..because they are not my God.

    • Thank you for your correction on the 1 Samuel scripture. I’m sorry that your son committed suicide.

      [there should not be any harsh judgments made by we who are sinners of those who are just like us…it is God’s place to do this.]

      This all depends on what the situation is. In Matthew 18, Jesus commanded believers to pass judgment in cases where one of our spiritual siblings sins against another, giving us step-by-step on how to handle it. If the person refused to apologize and repent, he commanded us to treat them as unbelievers (Matthew 18:15-17). Paul verified what Jesus said in 1 Corinthians 5 when he commanded the church to confront the man who was fornicating with his stepmother. Then Jesus again in Revelation commanded several of the churches to take action against those who were disobedient in their midst and said if they didn’t, that he would remove their candlestick.

      [You cannot be certain that people who have flawed behaviors are not suffering in their brains with illness instead of this “demonic influence” as mentioned in the Bible.]

      This is where the gifts of the Holy Spirit come in. If a person is incoherent and acts violent or disruptive in the body of believers, they should be required to see if something is physically wrong, like a brain tumor, before allowing them in the congregation. This is out of love for everyone who attends that church for their safety. If nothing is physically wrong, God has given us as believers the power to pinpoint the problem by a word of knowledge or wisdom and then deal with it in the name of Jesus. This is also where the anointing from elders comes in that’s mentioned in James 5:14. But today’s church has let the world talk us out of operating by the Holy Spirit, so we put all of our trust in science over God instead of seeing science as just one of God’s tools.

      [If anything is to be learned from this dialog it should be that cutting, judging, suicide, lying, adultery, stealing, vanity, pride, etc…..everything under the sun is sin in this world…and not one is greater than the other except in the critical eyes of an unforgiving world.]

      All sin is wrong, but not all sin is equal. That’s why different sins have varying degrees of punishment in both the OT & the NT. In John 19:11, Jesus said that the person who caused him to be given into Pilate’s hands for punishment (Judas) had the “greater sin” than Pilate himself. He also told his disciples in Mark 6 that it would be “more tolerable” for Sodom & Gomorrah on judgment day than for the city that rejects the gospel. People also have varying degrees of devilish influences. At the most severe level, unbelievers can be literally possessed by one or more evil spirits. For Christians, the most severe level is not possession but outward oppression from a devil or devils that are trying to encourage us to do really bad things, or as in Paul’s case a devil that causes physical illness to try to hinder all the right things Paul was accomplishing.

      • Speaking the truth in love, Harry…and in no way condemning what you believe to be your calling, I wish you would also add the love of God into your observations using scripture. The casual reader does not know the entire text you quote from and can easily be misled.

        In defense of cutting…I seriously doubt that those who cut are even aware of such pagan rituals…really? They are seriously and emotionally ill and have resorted to something neither of us, as non-cutters, can fully understand. It would be a different matter if they were before some fire lit altar in a wooded area dancing around naked and chanting weird mantras. THAT would be a pagan ritual.

        ABOUT Harry…..”Although I am not a Bible scholar, God has revealed many things to me in his word, the Bible, and I’m here to share a few of them. I am striving to be all God would want me to be, but like every other Christian, I am still fallible.”

        “Although I am not a Bible scholar, …” …

        Hmmm. that same God also revealed to me, through my experiences in life and through the Word…the same Word you quote …as did also Satan when he tempted Christ and perverted the text as he did for his own use. You have stated that you are not a biblical scholar and that is evident in your cruel condemnation of those who are ill. You show no compassion or mercy, as Christ THE REDEEMER did and still does. I am sorry that you live in a land of never ending guilt and legalism….Jesus came to set us free so that me may recognize sin and repent and BE FORGIVEN of ALL OUR SINS. That is why all those sins are in the Bible…that is why there are Ten Commandments…so we can recognize that we are indeed sinners and need a Savior. We can never uphold the Law because of our weaknesses.

        If any of your readers have never met Christ or know a thing about Him..then the words you have chosen to dissect from the Bible have shown Him in a poor light and have done nothing for the Glory of Him who loves us. IT IS WRITTEN:

        “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31
        “He that believeth on Him is not condemned..” John 3:18

        As Charles Spurgeon wrote in “Spritual Warfare in a Believer’s Life”…” Nothing can alter the Truth; it stands and must stand forever. Believer, abide by it come what may. Satan will say.”You know there are many evidences… show me one.” Tell him to mind his own business. He will say, “You know how imperfectly you have behaved, even since conversion.” Tell him that he is not so wonderfully perfect that he can afford to find fault with you. If he says, “Ah but if you were really a changed character you would not have those thoughts or feelings,” argue not at all with him but dwell upon the fact that it IS WRITTEN, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Timothy 1:15

        I am not here to argue with you about what is sin so much as I am willing to share the love of Christ and how He can change lives through His forgiveness.

        I hope that readers will understand just why it is that Jesus came to this fallen world…it was ALL about love. Only those who reject Christ have committed the unforgivable sin…we are all sinners and need a savior.

        IT IS WRITTEN: John 3:17
        “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

        As a Christian, I try to be understanding and merciful about those things which I cannot understand.

        IT IS WRITTEN: Isaiah 55:8

        “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
        Isaiah 55:7-9 (in Context) Isaiah 55 (Whole Chapter)

      • [I wish you would also add the love of God into your observations using scripture. The casual reader does not know the entire text you quote from and can easily be misled.]

        lensgirl,

        You must not have read all of my comments. Not only did I mention Christ’s love several times, it was also implied in the advice I gave and included scripture. This is an unfair assessment.

        [In defense of cutting…I seriously doubt that those who cut are even aware of such pagan rituals…really? They are seriously and emotionally ill and have resorted to something neither of us, as non-cutters, can fully understand.]

        Why even assume a defense for cutting? If people are unaware of the origins of a sin, does that mean we shouldn’t mention the origins? Your advice is like saying, “I seriously doubt that those who are gay are even aware of the origins of homosexuality.” That’s why God gave us his word. No one knows about the origin of sin itself until we share about Adam and Eve. My mentioning the pagan rituals is part of the revelation people need to help them understand how serious the problem is so they can see the need to get help. Why would I hide such important information from someone? That’s not love. Again your assessment in unfair. And many people have been helped by what I’ve shared.

        [Hmmm. that same God also revealed to me, through my experiences in life and through the Word]

        If that were true, then why are you trying to tear down how I rightfully divide God’s word of truth to help people out of love? Why is it that you said, “Your understanding is drawn mostly from the Old Testament wrathful God rather than the love, mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” in one of your previous comments as if God in the OT is totally different from Jesus in the NT? Anyone who had God’s revelation would know that God is the God of love, mercy, grace, and judgment in both the Old & New Testaments regardless of his appearance as Father, Son, or Holy Spirit.

        [You have stated that you are not a biblical scholar and that is evident in your cruel condemnation of those who are ill.]

        You have assumed that if someone doesn’t express themselves like you want them to express themselves, then their expression isn’t valid. I haven’t made any cruel condemnation of anyone here. I have spoken the truth in love and people have been offended by God’s truth while others have been thankful for it. My ministry does not center on what meets your human-centered approval.

        […you live in a land of never ending guilt and legalism]

        Anyone who really knows God’s word and then has read what I’ve said here knows full well I have pointed people to the Lord Jesus and not to any legalism or never-ending guilt. I make no apologies for what I’ve said. I’ve told them the Lord Jesus can save them from cutting. Your assessment is wrong.

  52. After reading all of the replies you have made to various comments, including the one below, I fully believe you are an insensitive person to the plight of other sinners while all the while professing to have an exclusive understanding of the Bible, using scripture. Your understanding is drawn mostly from the Old Testament wrathful God rather than the love, mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Metaphorically, the Bible is lost on you who seem to be a literal reader.

    Your understanding of mental illness is alarming and only emphasizes the stigma that was founded in the Dark Ages concerning suicide, depression, and the like. I hope you pray and ask God to guide you to give you an insight to the agonies of our world and the illnesses that affect not only our hearts, kidneys, blood system….but OUR MINDS as well. The brain is just as susceptible to illness as any other part of the body…but sadly it affects behavior and of this you are unqualified to make any kind of judgment as is proven by your words:

    YOUR WORDS:
    “I don’t believe in low self-esteem. I would instead say that people who cut are deceived about themselves and about their situation. If a person is depressed or feel they are worthless, it’s because they love themselves to the point that they have certain expectations out of life and if those expectations they have of themselves or of their situations are not met, they get extremely frustrated.

    This extreme frustration over wanting something better that they haven’t been able to obtain leads them to think that doing harm to themselves will alleviate their frustrations or rescue them from their situation. They want to be rescued by whatever means because ultimately they love themselves and feel they shouldn’t have to suffer what they’re going through.”

    • [I fully believe you are an insensitive person to the plight of other sinners while all the while professing to have an exclusive understanding of the Bible, using scripture.]

      Excuse me, but aren’t you the one in the previous comment that said “there should not be any harsh judgments made by we who are sinners of those who are just like us…it is God’s place to do this”? Then how is it that you are now rendering a harsh judgment against me for speaking God’s truth? The principles God established in the OT are the same principles upheld in the NT. You are wrongfully implying there are two different Gods in the Bible. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? (Galatians 4:16) It is your understanding that is lacking, not mine.

      [Your understanding of mental illness is alarming and only emphasizes the stigma that was founded in the Dark Ages concerning suicide, depression, and the like.]

      Another harsh judgment against me, eh? In case you haven’t noticed, all of the world’s scientific advances have continued to fail us as a society even though we put our trust in them. Why? Because they ignore our basic problem–sin. Why is it that we have all these medications to combat everything you mentioned, yet abuse of prescription drugs and people who die from overdosing on them is at an all-time high? The same drugs for fighting depression, mental illness, etc. are the same drugs causing people to die accidentally or by suicide. But I’m the one living in the Dark Ages. People should definitely see their doctors for help, but doctors aren’t the only answer and even doctors today are recognizing that fact: http://www.charismanews.com/us/42882-more-surgeons-praying-for-patients-before-wielding-god-s-scalpel

      God’s power will always be greater than anything this world has to offer. And that doesn’t mean the two have to be in operation separately from each other as you have falsely implied that I’ve said. People who defend the practice of cutting are definitely under Satanic influence. When people are truly sorry for sin or sorry for their behavior, they don’t make excuses for it (like many have done here), but acknowledge their problem and talk about their efforts to rid themselves of it.

      • I’ve said a prayer this morning for you, Brynn. I also think we should pray for the man who continues to rant about laws and legalism, and his judgment against illness and sinners. Let’s be thankful that he is not God. Grace and love is what Jesus wants us to have for others like he has. The author of this post wants to use scripture without the story behind the scripture.

        Let’s remember the “thorn in my flesh” that Paul was given so as not to become conceited and boastful about his relationship to God. He fully believed it was for his own good that he had to endure something painful to keep him close to God. I believe we all have “crosses to bear” and “thorns in our flesh” ( a figurative way to describe any illness or inconvenience in our lives that keeps us humble and mindful of our Lord) Some can be conquered but others are for a lifetime. I wish you well in the coping of such. We all need prayer to help us endure this life. God bless you. To God be the Glory.

      • Wow. Comparing Paul’s being attacked by a devil for having divine revelations and preaching the gospel is hardly a comparison to someone making the choice and carrying out self harm. Talk about wrongly dividing the word of truth.

      • You just will not understand Harry. This is about the illness that causes cutting that you have likened to pagan worship. You just wish that people who do not agree with you would just be damned. It’s more about you being “right” than it is helping others. Read On…..

        Paul’s thorn came by way of a messenger of Satan in order to torment him. Yet at the same time it was given to him in order that he would not become conceited. The present paradox can be compared to that of the story of Job. Satan was permitted to afflict God’s servant, yet only within the parameters set by God (Job 2). Paul also wrote about handing an immoral brother to Satan so that his flesh may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord (1 Cor 5:5). Satan is used at times as an instrument to bolster the faith or prove the righteousness of believers.

        The ambiguity of the thorn in the flesh is actually a positive thing. … Paul experienced many sufferings outside of his thorn (2 Cor 11:22-28), yet God used him mightily for the furtherance and advancement of His Gospel. The existence of illness or suffering in a believer’s life does not necessarily constitute a sinful life or a life that lacks faith. Paul pleaded with the Lord on three separate occasions for the Lord to remove the thorn, yet God’s grace was enough for the apostle and His power is made perfect in Paul’s weaknesses.

      • lensgirl,

        What I understand is that you are double minded, and therefore unstable. The last time you made a comment to me, you said you regretted speaking to me and said you were finished with discussing this issue, lying about me to the point of saying I was satan. But now you’re back to spread more of your twisting of the scriptures.

        Paul cannot in any way be likened to a rebellious person who knows it’s wrong to cut, but delays getting help and makes excuses for their wrongdoing so they can continue to self harm. That is a person caught up in pride. It’s the “I-know-it’s-wrong-but-I’m-gonna-do-it-anyway” mentality. Didn’t you say the thorn was meant to stop Paul from being conceited (i.e. prideful)? The cutting sure hasn’t stopped brynn from her pride. So how is that like Paul’s thorn? Although I don’t agree with what everything certain charismatics preach, like Keith Moore in the following video, he gives a very good explanation of Paul’s thorn from about 15:20 to 59:15 in this video or 36:00 to 59:25 if your time is limited:

      • You are judgmental and prideful yourself. I was addressing Brynn,,,,not you. She is a person who needs encouragement and love and not YOUR wayward judgment. I hope YOU get the help you need also, Harry, and that the love of Christ will one day be a part of your understanding of the Bible. You even pervert what is being explained to you by others. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. That is a form of pride. YOU have again misunderstood the entire post about Paul’s “thorn” because in plain English it means that anybody can relate to that “thorn” by injecting their own “thorn”..whatever that may be, as in cutting, mental illness, cancer, blindness, etc…and understanding that not ALL things get healed even though you may pray for it. UNDERSTAND THAT HARRY!! You walk on very dangerous ground by telling people that they are not Christian because of the illnesses that they have or the prayers that don’t get answered. CUTTING IS a result of mental illness. Get that through your prideful head. You have not shown mercy as Christ does, instead your own pride about how “right” you are is in the way of helping those people whom you judge as “prideful.”

      • lensgirl,

        Your comment that prompted me to point out how double minded you are was specifically to me, not brynn. The fact that you can’t see the truth about Paul’s thorn, even if it comes from an experienced pastor rightly dividing God’s word on the matter, is a testimony to your own pride. And if you wish to stay true to your statement that you were finished interacting with me on this topic, why bother now to go against that statement to once again interact with me if not for your own desire to be right?

        […in plain English it means that anybody can relate to that “thorn” by injecting their own “thorn”]

        Not true. As Keith Moore clearly shows from the scripture in the video, Paul’s thorn was not a sickness or a sin as many (including myself in the past) have assumed it to be. The thorn was a devil sent to attack Paul to try to prevent his sharing the gospel because of divine revelations from God. He was carrying out God’s will and Satan attacked him for it, whereas brynn is willfully caught up in something that’s not God’s will that she needs to get help for but has delayed getting help for. Not the same thing.

        [You walk on very dangerous ground by telling people that they are not Christian because of the illnesses that they have or the prayers that don’t get answered.]

        I never said people were not Christian because of this behavior. I said the behavior itself isn’t Christian or godly–that it was because of some other influence apart from God. Please get your facts straight and please stop trying to mislead.

        [CUTTING IS a result of mental illness.]

        That all depends on the situation. If a person wishes to find out if that’s true or not, they should get medical help first to get prescription meds. If the meds don’t work, then it is a spiritual matter. Either way, God’s grace is sufficient to overcome it.

        [You have not shown mercy as Christ does, instead your own pride about how “right” you are is in the way]

        Wrong again. I have advised people to seek help from a problem that is potentially life-threatening. I have advised people not to defend self harm but get help (medical, psychological, & spiritual) to end it and have even prayed for them or advised others to pray for them in the name above all names–the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Pointing to the Great Physician as our ultimate solution is hardly about pride, it’s about mercy. God called us to be righteous through Jesus so we can be “right” with him. Righteousness is about being “right” with God to “right”-ly divide God’s word of truth. So, yeah, from that aspect my goal for myself and my hope for others (including self-harmers) is for all of us to be “right.”

      • “I speak the truth in love….” as the Bible instructs to all who are believers.

        This phrase, taken from the fourth chapter of the Book of Ephesians, does not mean for you to smile as you tell your neighbor that her dress is ugly. … This whole chapter is about unity of the body of Christ and spiritual growth. Really, the main point is to instruct us to boldly proclaim the truth of the Gospel with love, not judgment…

        Ephesians 4:1-2 begs this of the believer: “to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” So, long before any talk of speaking the truth in love, we are called to humility, which compels us to put others first.

        If we continue to read the chapter, we see that the focus shifts to spirituality and sound doctrine. The appeal for believers to speak the truth is referring to standing against false teaching by not being afraid to say what is right. But, there is a fine line between someone standing up for truth out of love for the Word and for the other person, and someone who knows that he is right and just wants to win the argument…

        “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (I Peter 3:15-16)

      • @lensgirl,

        [Really, the main point is to instruct us to boldly proclaim the truth of the Gospel with love, not judgment]

        I’m sure love inspired you to call me satan when all I’ve done is glorify Jesus of Nazareth, right?

        […for believers to speak the truth is referring to standing against false teaching by not being afraid to say what is right.]

        Which is exactly what I’ve done the whole time to point out the real origins of cutting and the real solutions.

        […there is a fine line between someone standing up for truth … and someone who knows that he is right and just wants to win the argument]

        Interesting statement considering that the only time arguments arose was after I released this post & people came to argue with me about what the Bible clearly says about cutting and to argue against the fact that Jesus Christ is the solution.

        Nevertheless, here’s a recent article that highlights how attempts to solve self harm via the Internet on social media sites for cutters where cutters share their experiences and photos is leading to more cutters.

  53. You said:

    “When people are truly sorry for sin or sorry for their behavior, they don’t make excuses for it (like many have done here), but acknowledge their problem and talk about their efforts to rid themselves of it.”

    No, they turn to God to rid themselves of “it.” and even then, we do not know if it will be so….the people who willingly posted their own experiences are most likely looking for help so that they can be rid of “it.”

    “harsh judgment” is a relative term and you misunderstand that “judgment” in this sense is meant as to “condemn a person to hell”…not as a decision or discernment., two very different meanings. Condemning people instead of leading them to the freedom that all Christians experience in knowing Christ is the harsh judgment that I am referring to…and it was in the general sense as in the word “we/us” and not the personal pronoun “you” that I used it. (“there should not be any harsh judgments made by WE who are sinners of those who are just like US…it is God’s place to do this”)

    You quoted: In John 19:11, Jesus said that the person who caused him to be given into Pilate’s hands for punishment (Judas) had the “greater sin” than Pilate himself.

    The “greater sin” is referring to “rejecting Christ”…and condemning Him to death….that is in no way to be compared to all the sins I listed. The world in its finite understanding of “sin” or crimes, have put into order from bad to worse…etc… so as to punish those who commit them. It is a societal, not heavenly, sentence. But, there are repercussions and consequences for all of us sinners.

    While cutting is not healthy and most certainly not a good thing, I only defend the illness and/or weakness that is behind the problem of cutting, which is what this post brought to light. Satan is behind all illness and the injustices of his domain. Again, we live in a fallen world.

    If we were to be able to speak face to face and understood better where we come from on our God revelations…it would be that we come from different backgrounds and experiences. Our tones could be heard and our love of truth would be behind each word. Posting and commenting in this manner can lead to a “war of words” using ‘weapons’ from the same arsenal..so to speak. I leave this discourse with the knowledge that we have merged our truths and hopefully, someone who needs spiritual help and also the help that is also provided in this world through whatever means God provides, will receive it.

    • [No, they turn to God to rid themselves of “it.” and even then, we do not know if it will be so]

      lensgirl,

      You’re so worked up that you’re splitting hairs here. When I said they “talk about their efforts to rid themselves of it,” the fact they turn to God is part of what I was talking about. In my post I encouraged people to call on Jesus for help. You’re so belligerent against what I’ve said that you didn’t realize we’re saying the same thing here.

      [The “greater sin” is referring to “rejecting Christ”…and condemning Him to death….that is in no way to be compared to all the sins I listed]

      Again–you’re splitting hairs. When you try to judge me for pointing out where Christ talked of the “greater sin,” we’re saying the same thing. Judas betrayed Jesus because of his rejection of Christ with the hope he would be killed. That’s part of the whole picture. That betrayal was a greater sin than what Pilate was guilty of, as Jesus was pointing out. And I was just using that as an example from scripture to prove that sins have varying degrees of severity and punishments. God judges some sins more severely than others. If you truly had revelation from God you would know this because it’s obvious from Genesis to Revelation.

      But enough of this back and forth. Let’s get to the real heart of the issue. I have struck a nerve with the truths I’ve spoken because I made you consider things you may never have considered before. You are still unsettled about the whys, whats, and hows when it comes to your son’s suicide. And that’s understandable. I really feel for you. But attacking me to try to tear me down because my truthful words stirred up some unresolved issues inside of you about that subject is not going to help your situation and it’s not going to help those who come here to find out the spiritual truth that is behind their cutting.

      I know from your words that you have dismissed anything I could possibly say to try to help in any little way I can. But have you considered counseling for yourself? And by that I mean ongoing present-day and into the near future counseling from a true Christ-centered, God-fearing counselor. What your son did was his own choice and he is the only one responsible for making that bad choice. Just like every sinner, cutter or not, who comes here and reads all of the advice is the only one responsible for their own actions in the end. You’re not responsible and neither am I, so please, please don’t make either one of us or anyone else around you the punching bag for your son’s mistake.

      • You said:

        “don’t make either one of us or anyone else around you the punching bag for your son’s mistake.”

        This speaks volumes of your character. Attacking my grief and my pain and being the “VOICE OF GOD”…..Who knew I was conversing with Satan this whole time.? You are a mean person who has yet to realize the pain and agony of this world which makes you understand God’s Word in a whole new Light. I hope you do get to realize it before it is too late. Your defense of your entire post has a rigidity and vitriol that does not draw people to Christ in fact it does the opposite.

        I am a Christian who has sought the counsel of Christian professionals who have been loving and understanding and know that my son is in Heaven. Your attack is not what Jesus would have done. No, I am have been in a dialog with Satan and I ask forgiveness from God for doing so. It is finished.

      • lensgirl,

        You know that as compassionate as my words were towards you that I was in no way attacking your grief and pain. You were the one who introduced your son’s suicide into the conversation. Don’t you see that how you have responded throughout our conversation and in this latest comment is clouded by your painful emotions which are negatively affecting your take on God’s word? Your response shows that you were really not ready to have an honest conversation because your emotions about the whole situation surrounding your son are still raw.

        The fact that you admit that you have sought godly counsel, as I previously suggested, and the way you responded to that loving and concerned suggestion from me is an admission that deep down you know my words were correct in pointing out your need for counseling. There’s no shame on your part or mine for any of that. I haven’t attacked you. I simply defended what I’ve said against your unsolicited attacks against me. You’ve made several mistakes in your comments that didn’t line up with God’s word or twisted what I said and I merely pointed them out. Call me Satan all you wish, but my words throughout my post and follow-up comments have pointed to the Bible and glorified the Lord Jesus Christ, so attempts to manipulate people’s emotions by your response will not stop people from seeing the truth they need to see.

  54. Please permit me to clarify my last reply: I am NOT defending Satan…where I write: “While cutting is not healthy and most certainly not a good thing, I only defend the illness and/or weakness that is behind the problem of cutting, which is what this post brought to light. Satan is behind all illness and the injustices of his domain. Again, we live in a fallen world.’

    I defend that there IS an illness not brought on willingly but rather as a state of our fallen world and our sinful nature…not in defense of Satan.

    thank you.

  55. no.

    i don’t agree with this article. yes, your history is correct. cutting in the old testament was about worshiping idols or for the dead. my sister died last year. i know the difference between cutting for the dead (which ive done a couple times) and cutting because its a freaking addiction that ive had for two and a half years. those are two very difference things. god never said in the old testament to quit cutting. he said dont cut in a form of worship and don’t cut for the dead.
    cutting, as far as i can tell, is not about possession. maybe obsession–with a NATURAL way to fix the endorphin issues in the brains of those who have fallen to cutting as a form of feeling better. yes its addictive. no i dont condone it. but its not because i am possessed by a demon or following their will for my lives or anything–because Jesus said that we are to love ourselves. me not cutting=me being nice to my physical body.

    • brynn,

      Paul tells us by the Holy Spirit that whether we eat, drink, or whatsoever we do, we should do it for the glory of God. So if this includes our routine practices, can you tell me how cutting gives glory to God or how it’s for the glory of God? John tells us by the Holy Spirit that he wishes above all things that we may prosper and be healthy, even as our soul prospers (3 John 2). Does cutting help anyone prosper and be healthy in soul and body?

      That’s how we know it’s not in line with what God wants and is a result of the fleshly nature being influenced by devilish persuasions.

      You said,

      [god never said in the old testament to quit cutting. he said dont cut in a form of worship and don’t cut for the dead.]

      However, if you read Leviticus 21:5, God commanded not to “make any cuttings in their flesh.” He does not specify any circumstances. He said plainly no cuttings whatsoever for any reason are acceptable. The fact that you would go against what God has plainly stated–which leaves no room to question him–shows that you are resisting both God and his word. Tell me, who is infamous for resisting both God and his word? Is it people under the influence of the Holy Spirit?

      When Jesus told his disciples that he would be betrayed and crucified to death, what did Jesus say to Peter when Peter argued with Jesus and denied what Jesus told them? He said “Get thee behind me, Satan, for you desire the things that are of men and not the things of God,” (my paraphrase). Peter wasn’t possessed, but he was under Satan’s influence by resisting Jesus. That’s how it is with cutting, so please stop making excuses to encourage yourself in your sin and please get help to overcome your enemy who is posing as your friend. There’s nothing good or excusable about that habit or about anything physical, mental, or spiritual that is encouraging you to do it.

      May the blood of Jesus cleanse you from it and the name of Jesus give you the power to overcome it as you seek medical help and godly counsel to get to the root of the problem.

  56. im not saying that it is right. im saying it’s not of the devil.

    also, the verse in Leviticus (21:5) that you are quoting from is actually, in the Hebrew context, talking about idol worship. in worshiping idols the priests of the false religions at the time cut in order to appease and gain interest of the “gods.”

    I have seen a demon. I have heard demons. trust me, I know that my cutting isn’t from their persuasion. no it’s from the fallen nature of man. we’re all sinners; some people lash out with their words, or hit someone… I just happen to do it to myself instead of those around me. so there you go.
    I’m respectfully, from a Christian point of view, saying that no, cutting and other forms of self injury are not right, but they aren’t from the devil or influenced by him.
    also if you ever need a Christian article written by a self injurer… im here. :)

      • I honestly don’t see how you can call yourself a christian. I’ve been trying to try and love you, since I’ve been laboring under the assumption that you are one of Gods creatures and deserving of such things, but after reading that last bit? I would say I wish you would freeze in Hel, but I realize now that’s were you, or the demon inside of you, has come from. You’re a wolf in sheeps clothing, leading people away from the warmth of His love. These people who struggle with these issues will be clad in white upon His return, while you will be denied entry into His kingdom. I’m surprised you don’t burn whenever you walk into a place of worship, but I’m sure the Adversary has found ways around that. To quote Tom Araya: “…Christ came and taught us about love, about doing unto others. That was his preach: Accept each other for who we are. Live peacefully, and love one another.” Many of his other children, such as John Browning, and St. Peter, have made similar work towards Equality and acceptance, as well as humility towards a Greater Power. By preaching lies to these people you are perverting the words of Christ, and spreading hate instead of Love. I urge you now that, If you are not a demon, to repent and turn to the Our Lord.

      • @Simo,

        [I honestly don’t see how you can call yourself a christian.]

        Says the person who several comments ago was cursing about me and is referring people to the “salvation-by-works” heretical Catholic Church. Really? If anyone is perverting the words of Christ, it’s you so please stop projecting onto me the things you yourself are guilty of. Jesus Christ has overcome the world. All anyone has to do to recognize Christ’s power is to hold on to his promise that ‘greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world’, 1 John 4:4. And if someone is humble enough to admit their problem and that they need help–>’Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven,’ Matthew 18:19.

  57. im sorry but you have too many people negatively commenting on this blog for me to understand why you still believe the authenticity of this article.

    if you haven’t dealt with it, don’t preach on it.

    trust me ive had my share of christian influence in my life, i’m a christian. i know what im arguing right now. i’ve talked with a christian counselor, and preacher–and they agree with me.
    so ya. in denial? nope. i don’t want to cut, and i don’t try to cut, and i can’t help that it’s a part of life. i’m trying to stop but it’s just sin, like any other issue in the daily life of every single human on our planet.

    • @brynn,

      [if you haven’t dealt with it, don’t preach on it.]

      Really? Then should we apply that to Jesus who never sinned and never experienced anything he spoke against? You seek people to affirm you in your sinful behavior. Jesus didn’t do that. Neither did his apostles or prophets. I won’t either. Get some help and stop trying to justify wrongdoing. Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

  58. since when did I ask you to affirm my behavior?!?
    I asked that you understand where people like me are freaking coming from! I’m not justifying it, I’m saying it’s a sin just like how you struggle with lust. I don’t want affirmation. I want understanding and people willing to accept me despite the scars I have.

    and guess what? I’m not seeking attention either. I’m actually researching counselors and the reason I’ve not settled on one so far is the emotional struggle of dealing with hurting someone by telling them my problems.
    so there you go.

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