The Most Common Lie We Tell?
Our culture tries to convince us that we can take control of our lives and if we don’t have control, something is going wrong. Unfortunately, many churches have adopted the same kind of mindset from the secular realm that everything should be good, and everyone should be happy.
A licensed psychologist spoke on a recent LifeSupport Podcast to talk about the fallacies that are taught in our culture when it comes to trauma and suffering.
After years of being a licensed psychologist, Kim has come to a profound conclusion: Our culture does not do well with pain.
She has also seen the church struggle with dealing with trauma in families. Kim said she defines trauma as going through something that is intense emotionally where there are feelings of hopelessness and no control.
Many of today’s churches are a reflection of the American culture, which tries to tell us that we are in control of our destiny and in control of our future. Culture says we are supposed to be self-sufficient, and churches are quoting what many believe to be a real Bible verse, “God never gives us more than we can handle.”
Kim says these are huge lies that are distorting the way many people think about themselves, their situation and what they can do about it.
At its very root, trauma disconnects us physically and mentally, Kim said. She said it is very important for churches to take a step back and learn more about what trauma does to people and the best ways to address it.
4 Keys to compassion
- Pay attention to the children – Kids can be traumatized just like adults. Churches will have many volunteers work in youth programs and training on the topic of trauma would be extremely beneficial for everyone involved. Without training, a volunteer or even a staff member, may have expectations of a child that are not realistic to a child in trauma.
- Leaders need to be transparent – Pastors need to be vulnerable to a degree to make other people in the church feel safe. There is a compassion deficit in our culture and if the church will show compassion to its members, it starts with the leaders.
- Hope leads to healing – Without hope, people are in despair and see no signs of their lives improving. We are renewed by the transformation of our mind, Kim says and once we give people hope, the path to healing can begin. People in the church that have overcome trauma in their lives are living examples of hope.
- God is a God of compassion – As elementary as it sounds, the church needs to understand that God is a God of compassion, abounding in love. The body of the church should reflect that compassion and love to other members, no matter how good or bad things are.
Find ways to connect
Kim said she hopes more churches make an effort to connect more with people who are suffering and in trauma. It takes listening and patience, she said. Listening is one of the most important things of all. People suffering need people they can confide in, without having anyone trying to fix them or change them.
Once a person has hope, they have connection, which is the opposite of trauma, which is a disconnection. Kim hopes that more churches become places of true connection and compassion for those who are desperate for it.
We created lifesupportresources.org to help you start discussions about mental health, to help remove stigma so people can find hope and healing through God. We pray that LifeSupport helps you grow your church.
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