Are you a “cutter” and don’t even know it?
Self-injury, largely through the behavior of “cutting,” is often experienced, in tandem with disordered eating.
But, I am putting it out there, that almost all of us are affected with this harmful condition in one way or another. Sound like an exaggeration?
How else do you explain the many self-inflicted, tormenting thoughts, words or deeds we engage in, on a daily basis.
Have you ever been on a diet? Have you ever said to yourself or others, “I’m too fat?”
I have come across many young people who are “cutters.” They often use razor blades and any sharp instrument for bloodletting. I have also seen, unfortunately, some graphic images of females taking scissors and knives to themselves, trying to cut their self-determined fat away from their bodies.
And, in the diet/fitness industries, doesn’t this sound like that exact language used to sell their products?
“Trim inches;” “Cut calories;” “Shed excess pounds…”
We don’t see knives or scissors, but the cutting away sentiment is there, all the same.
Furthermore, it speaks to a more sinister aspect of this “removal,” beyond the punishment of body weight and tissue. The dangerous promise asserts its goal: to cut away the pain.
And this leads me back to my initial premise: this “self-injury” is experienced by most of us, in thought, word or deed.
We think we’re too much or not enough of _____________ (fill in the blank).
We state our unworthiness, our inherent need to be rejected based on our physicality or anything falling under that domain.
We take action, often desperate, Machiavellian action (i.e.: the crash diet, the vomiting, the laxatives, the complete starvation) to achieve the cut away goal.
We do this because we believe certain things about ourselves and our value.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34
Part of those beliefs embraces our own take on the cutting mentality.
We may never take a sharp object to ourselves and draw blood. But our attitudes frequently demand some stripping, some sculpting or some atoning. This is where disordered eating, image, diet and exercise issues enter.
We believe disappearing and/or lessening ourselves makes life “better.”
We believe we deserve to be cut because we are occupying too much space in life.
We need to pay the price. “Sacrifice” insists things will only be better when we do this.
However, concerning these dictates, The Most High sees us differently than we do.
For as much as sacrifice and repentance are, indeed, in scripture, these tenets are dramatically different than ANY of our cutting “imaginations.”
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Scripture contradicts the torment of the cutting or self-injury mentality. It challenges us to strip ourselves of any harmful thought because, quite simply, a harmful thought is not a Divine thought.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I [am] the LORD.” Leviticus 19:28
Indeed, Leviticus 19 has less to do with oppressive legalism and more to do with our ultimate loving Father not wanting us to hurt ourselves.
“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…” Isaiah 43:4
And make no mistake about it, “cutting/self-injury” certainly hurts us, beyond the physical body.
The harm also comes in our lack of reverence for our wonderful physical, mental and spiritual vessels…
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
Diet (and any other punishing equivalent) equal desecration, ergo, vandalism of the Temple. We would believe it to be a despicable thing to, for instance, go into a house of worship, destroying its contents.
How much more, then, is it horrifying and heartbreaking for us to destroy, essentially, ourselves?
We need to cut away the lies we’ve learned and convinced ourselves of over the years. We need to cut away the severe self-punishment, banishment, isolation and demands with which we place upon ourselves, all in the name of achieving some idolatrous image.
Yes, “cutting” and all manner of “self-injury” are, indeed, real conditions. Discussing the broad range of self- destructive tendencies does not minimize this painful reality.
Rather, promoting awareness illustrates just how far our harmful dysfunctions can extend in each of us, if we’re not cognizant of that destroying potential.
And it’s a further reminder to not confuse the will and desire of our Creator. The Almighty does not wish to hurt us…
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
His thoughts – and His love for us – include no “self-harm.”