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Summary: Everyone has issues. God is the solution.

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Several weeks we discovered that everybody has ISSUES! I’ve got ‘em! You’ve got ‘em! We’ve got ‘em!

As we started our series we first discovered that God cares for us … 1 Peter 5:7: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you” (NLT).

A couple of weeks ago we did a little talk about SEX … We discovered that God is pro-sex. He created sex, and He wants people to enjoy it (Genesis 2:23-25), but only in the context of marriage. We also learned that sex has a purpose and it has consequences.

Tonight, I want to speak about a VERY HEAVY topic … SILENT AGONY: The secrecy of self abuse.

Self-Abuse –is defined as any intentional injury to one’s own body or an unhealthy habit that hurts

The most common ways that people self-abuse are:

•Burning

•Poisoning or overdosing

•Scratching

•Carving words or symbols on the skin

•Breaking bones

•Hitting or punching

•Piercing the skin with sharp objects

•Head banging

•Pulling out hair

•Interfering with wound healing

•Pinching

•Biting

•Eating disorders (like anorexia, bulimia, overeating & binge eating)

Why are we talking about this at MSO? I don’t know anyone dealing with those issues.

Listen to the statistics.

Broad estimates are that about one percent of the total U.S. population, or between 2 and 3 million people, exhibit some type of self-abusive behavior.

In a study of undergraduate students in the United States, 9.8% of the students surveyed indicated that they had purposefully cut or burned themselves on at least one occasion in the past. When the definition of self-injury was expanded to include head-banging, scratching oneself, and hitting oneself along with cutting and burning, 32% of the sample said they had done this.

According to US estimates from The National Institute of Mental Health, between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of girls and women (i.e. 5-10 million people) and 1 million boys and men suffer from eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or over eating.

Who self-injures? At least 1 out of every 10 students.

Who eat-injures? About 1 out of every 15 students.

Realistically we are or at least know someone who hurts themselves, even in this setting.

Let’s look at some reasons why people hurt themselves:

1. The emotional pain is too HUGE

Life is filled with a lot of baggage … there are things that many people have gone through that rip their lives to shreds, so they hurt themselves to eleviate the internal pain.

With cutting … it might be stress or anger that causes them to self-injure!

With eating disorders … it might be the words that someone has said over a person … you’re fat … you’re ugly.

The emotional pain becomes so big … too big.

2. The pain can’t be put into words

Sometimes life just bites … and it bites hard. There is no way around life so people injure themselves … because they can’t verbalize the pain.

You can keep the pain inside for a little while, but eventually it will come out!

If you are HOLDING ON TO A HURT … let it go before the pain becomes larger than you can handle.

3. Personal Punishment

Some are battling their own demons that they PUNISH themselves … maybe there is an bad decision that was made … someone gets hurt … so that person decides to hurt themselves because they hurt someone else!

This relates more to self-injury than eating disorders.

4. Unhealthy view of themselves

People fail to see that we have been “created in the image of a loving, amazing God.”

He loves us exactly the way we are … after all he is our creator!

But sometimes we believe the words of man over the words of our Maker.

What does God, your Creator, think of you?

When God made you, you were an original thought in his mind!

"You alone created my inner being.

You knitted me together inside my mother."

When God made you, he made someone wonderful!

"I will give thanks to you

because I have been so amazingly

and miraculously made.

Your works are miraculous,

and my soul is fully aware of this."

When God made you, he didn’t make any mistakes!

"My bones were not hidden from you

when I was being made in secret,

when I was being skillfully woven

in an underground workshop.

Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus."

When God made you, he had a specific purpose and plan in mind!

"Every day of my life was recorded in your book

before one of them had taken place."

When God made you, he knew he would never stop loving you!

"How precious are your thoughts

concerning me, O God!

How vast in number they are!

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