Series Code: RQRA
Program Code: RQRA000010A
00:01 The following program deals with subject matter
00:03 that may be inappropriate for younger children.
00:07 Parental discretion is advised.
00:11 I don't understand
00:13 why did this have to happen to me.
00:17 I feel like I just can't make sense of things.
00:21 I need answers.
00:25 Where is God?
00:30 Hello and welcome again
00:31 to Raw Questions Relevant Answers.
00:35 My name is Mark Paden,
00:36 this is Michelle Doucoumes and Dee Casper.
00:39 And today we have some really raw questions.
00:44 And the type of questions that
00:46 if you have a young person there,
00:48 you might want to send them out of the room for this one.
00:51 This is going to be hitting some heavily...
00:53 Some heavy topics on addictions.
00:56 So if you don't want your kids listening to this right now,
00:58 I would advise some caution.
01:02 Let's go ahead and dive right in.
01:03 Are you all ready for this?
01:05 I think God can help us with this one.
01:07 By God's grace.
01:08 Yeah, He is, He is.
01:10 Okay, this first question comes from a 17-year-old female
01:14 in the state of Pennsylvania.
01:17 I'm wrestling with self-harm
01:19 and I don't know what to do about it?
01:23 This is no joke, I mean, the topic of self-harm,
01:26 this can fall in many categories.
01:28 The general category
01:29 I'm assuming this is for is like cutting,
01:31 burning, attempted suicide, things along these lines,
01:33 but it can be broader than this.
01:35 We talked about food addictions,
01:37 destructive behavior,
01:38 some people get a high about living in extreme situations
01:41 right there.
01:43 They're excited about doing things
01:44 that are going to break bones at any given moment.
01:46 But I think in this particular context of self harm,
01:49 one thing that was helpful for me was to realize,
01:51 first of all, that Jesus was actually tempted
01:53 in this area in Matthew 4 that Satan brings him up
01:56 to the top of the temple and says,
01:57 "If you're the Son of God,
01:59 throw Yourself down from here," right?
02:00 He was tempted to harm Himself.
02:01 No, He didn't.
02:03 But the beautiful thing is because Jesus succeeded
02:04 in overcoming that temptation,
02:06 He can give power and strength to us to do so.
02:09 I think many times in environments like this,
02:12 we're seeking to have control,
02:13 or thrill, or rush of some sort,
02:15 and this is why this process kind of begins.
02:18 We feel powerless,
02:19 we feel helpless in uncertain environments
02:21 as this can happen a lot of times,
02:22 but there's many variables that can be involved.
02:25 But the point is there is a God in heaven
02:27 who has power and strength to see ourselves helpfully,
02:30 and to give us power to treat ourselves helpfully.
02:33 Do you have some other thoughts on that?
02:34 Yeah, you know,
02:36 for those who have never struggled with self-harm,
02:37 it may seem like a strange thing to struggle,
02:40 "Who wants to hurt themselves?"
02:43 But there's actually psychology with this.
02:47 Sometimes if there's been a lot of psychological pain
02:50 that someone has experienced and it's hard to get it out,
02:53 the release of physical pain actually produces that release,
02:58 that are we're not able to get otherwise.
03:00 And that's what makes it addictive and dangerous.
03:03 There's something in the heart crying out
03:05 that needs to be solved.
03:07 And because it's not,
03:08 the body is trying to solve it instead,
03:11 some type of physical release is trying to solve it.
03:14 And so, you know,
03:16 one of the big things with self-harm is realizing,
03:20 no, this doesn't make you bad, or weird, or strange,
03:24 it's just that there is something inside of you
03:26 that is saying, "You need help."
03:29 And maybe it's time to seek that help,
03:31 to get a good counselor to talk to some people
03:34 that can really start dealing with the pain inside
03:38 that is causing the infliction of pain outside.
03:41 You know, I think that's a really good,
03:42 and I just want to underscore that again.
03:44 These things stem from a very deep place in us,
03:47 where we have...
03:48 Maybe we've been hurt by a parent,
03:50 and maybe we've been abused by a parent,
03:52 maybe we have gone through some really traumatic circumstance,
03:55 whatever may be the case,
03:57 this is really a result of those inside things,
04:00 and we need to get those dealt with.
04:02 So let's just talk about that really quick.
04:04 What are some of the practical ways,
04:05 you mentioned counseling and different things,
04:06 what are some of the practical ways
04:08 that we can,
04:09 maybe get help in those scenarios?
04:12 The first thing is being heard.
04:13 I mean, counseling is one of the best options
04:15 you can have at this stage,
04:17 to have a safe place where you can open up
04:19 and talk about what it is that's causing the harm,
04:21 and someone who's trained to help people
04:23 find the root issues
04:24 because it can be different in every person's situations.
04:27 I mean that's the primary option in this stage.
04:30 And then two, seeking in the Word of God
04:32 the value that God places upon each of us that whenever...
04:35 You see throughout the Psalms, David is crying out,
04:38 and other people crying out
04:39 whenever they've got pain inside
04:41 and don't know what to do with it.
04:42 There was this freedom to be vulnerable,
04:44 and to be raw and open with God in prayer.
04:48 And I think it's a big, big opportunity as well
04:50 that when we feel that pain creeping up on the inside,
04:52 the safest place to run with that is in prayer
04:54 directly to God, and just say, "This is what I'm feeling,
04:58 this is what I'm tempted to do,
05:00 and this is what I'm wrestling with.
05:01 And I need You in this moment to give me healthy thoughts,
05:04 to give me the ability to make healthy choices.
05:06 And even right now, I need You to give me the courage
05:08 to call someone to do what I need to do."
05:11 Sin, whatever form it is, harming ourselves,
05:14 harming other people, it thrives in darkness,
05:18 it thrives in secrecy.
05:21 And so I would also encourage whoever is dealing with this,
05:24 tell someone.
05:26 Even though that's a very scary thing to do,
05:28 even though you wonder,
05:30 "Is someone going to be safe to talk to?"
05:32 If you are in danger, don't let that continue.
05:36 That has to be let out.
05:38 Just the fact of putting it out there
05:40 and going for help can start to break
05:42 some of the strongholds
05:44 of this being this deep dark secret
05:46 that cause it to have so much power.
05:48 Yeah, and many times those things are done,
05:49 we see in the darkness is true like a lot of the places
05:52 where people are cutting themselves
05:53 or burning themselves are generally not flushed,
05:55 it's all the way exposed, right?
05:57 And it's just really a pattern that people have had
06:00 because they want to be working through this thing
06:03 on their own, right?
06:04 It's not a situation where it's public.
06:06 So people don't see to be able to report
06:07 that they see that something's going on.
06:10 So it relies upon self-reporting many times
06:12 that people don't know.
06:14 Yeah, one of the thing too
06:15 I would like to say into this too is that
06:17 if you're going through that, right?
06:19 If somebody out there is involved in this
06:21 and is really struggling, don't feel like you're a mess,
06:24 don't feel like you're this terrible, horrible,
06:26 no good, very bad person, right?
06:28 You are valuable to God.
06:30 You are incredibly valuable as a human being,
06:32 and you don't have to go through this.
06:34 You don't have to do that.
06:36 You can find relief of soul in helpful ways
06:39 that aren't going to hurt you.
06:42 So let's go ahead and move on to the next question
06:45 unless you want to say anything else.
06:48 This one comes from a female,
06:52 age 20 in British Columbia, Canada.
06:55 This one is going to be a heavy one, okay?
06:57 So you all ready for this?
06:59 What do we believe about masturbation?
07:02 The world says it's very good and healthy,
07:04 but I don't know
07:05 what the Bible teaches about this?
07:08 Well, I think that one of the ways
07:10 we have to address the elephant in the room
07:12 is that masturbation generally goes
07:14 right alongside in hand-in-hand with immoral thoughts, right?
07:18 One thing connects to another.
07:20 A majority, if not every single time,
07:23 and we addressed this in a previous episode
07:25 that Jesus says that,
07:26 "He who looks after a woman to lust in his heart
07:28 after her has already committed adultery."
07:30 Even though there's been no contact,
07:32 they may not even know who this person is
07:33 or what their name is.
07:35 And this certainly...
07:36 If these two are connected and they are,
07:38 it's us performing acts of immorality,
07:41 sexual morality that is not licensed
07:44 or endorsed by the Word of God,
07:46 just to start with a very simple answer.
07:48 There's another thought you want to have on that?
07:50 I mean it was similar to that. Okay.
07:52 The whole idea, whatever things are pure,
07:55 whatever things are lovely,
07:56 whatever things are good report,
07:57 think on these things.
07:59 Can you engage in those acts
08:01 while thinking on pure and lovely things?
08:04 That's a big question.
08:05 And something that's very telling
08:07 on whether something is of God or not,
08:09 whether it's masturbation or something else as...
08:11 Can I be at peace and be in the presence of God
08:14 while I'm doing this?
08:15 You know, the other thing too about this is that
08:17 it is an addiction.
08:19 Like people that wrestle with this,
08:21 it's very addictive.
08:22 You can't just say, "Okay, I'm done."
08:24 Like, it's...
08:26 Talk to people that try to get out of it,
08:27 you know, it's a very difficult process.
08:30 And do we really want to be doing something
08:33 that is addictive?
08:34 Like those addictions, I mean, they're bad for a reason.
08:38 You don't want to ever be in a situation
08:40 in which you are not fully in control of your own actions.
08:45 Yes, and the thing is like
08:46 when there are thoughts that are brought into our mind,
08:49 we're basically programmed in our mind and our body
08:52 to do what we want and to chase our pleasures
08:57 when tempted, right?
08:59 We can do this with food, we can do this with alcohol,
09:01 we can do this with drugs, we can do this with sexual sin,
09:04 that when you've preprogrammed your body to say yes
09:06 to its desires, even if they're not good ones,
09:09 you're starting your mind, and you're inviting
09:10 the track of only doing what you want when it comes.
09:13 And there are countless stories of people
09:15 who begin in this situation of looking at pornography
09:18 and engaging in masturbation which leads to the next thing,
09:21 which leads to the next thing, which leads to the next thing.
09:22 And they end up in a place
09:24 they never thought they would be
09:25 because they're not finding that pleasure
09:26 they are looking for,
09:28 and there's scientific reasons for this.
09:29 They've shown the release
09:30 that we have of the chemicals in our brain,
09:32 the feel good chemicals is less as a result of masturbating
09:37 than it is than having a genuine union in marriage
09:39 or in a sexual union.
09:41 And there's a reason for this.
09:43 That is what we were designed for,
09:45 to have an actual union,
09:46 not something that we're creating ourselves,
09:48 it can't satisfy like God original blueprint can.
09:50 And kind of an illustration of this
09:52 that comes to my mind is
09:53 when Jesus is talking to the woman at the well,
09:55 a woman who is wrestling with relationships
09:57 and sexuality it seems.
09:59 She's had five husbands,
10:00 and the man she's living with now isn't her husband.
10:02 This woman's means of escape from the problems in her life
10:05 was her water pot.
10:06 She was at this well at high noon
10:08 when it's blazing hot outside,
10:09 she's trying to escape her problems.
10:11 And the Bible says in John 4:4
10:13 that Jesus needed to go through Samaria.
10:17 Because someone's wrestling with temptation.
10:18 And what Jesus does is He tells this woman,
10:20 "What you're coming here for?"
10:21 It says, "What I have to offer you
10:23 is vastly better than what you're coming here," for one.
10:25 And two, "this water that you're coming for
10:28 is only going to lead you to thirst again."
10:30 And masturbation does that.
10:32 It does not fill in the way that God's blueprint does.
10:35 You're just going to thirst again
10:36 and keep running to something that can't fill in the way
10:38 that God ideally intended.
10:41 What I love is Jesus offers a means of escape,
10:42 like He says in 1 Corinthians 10
10:44 that fork in the road,
10:46 she was given that option and chose wisely.
10:47 She left her water pot with Jesus.
10:50 And for those who may be wrestling with masturbation,
10:51 I think He's asking the same question,
10:53 "Will you leave that water pot with Me?
10:55 Will you leave it here
10:56 because I have something better to offer you.
10:58 It's something that can actually bring pleasure
11:00 and actually bring enjoyment that this can never could."
11:03 You know, I come back to something
11:05 that I mentioned in previous episode.
11:07 In James 1 about how God is the author
11:10 of our good and perfect gifts,
11:12 but the devil is into counterfeiting them,
11:15 cautions us to not be deceived my beloved brethren.
11:18 And, you know, we talk about purity
11:21 when it comes to waiting for marriage
11:24 or even within marriage
11:25 and saving ourselves for that spouse.
11:28 But in a sense, when we are doing these things,
11:31 is it not like chipping away small pieces of that.
11:34 It's like, well, you know, I'm not really doing anything,
11:37 it's just masturbation, it's not the whole, whole act.
11:41 I'm not with anyone.
11:43 But there's a pleasure
11:44 that was designed for that full fulfillment,
11:48 and it's like chipping away little pieces
11:51 of what could have been in some form.
11:53 And so that's another thing to think about as just...
11:56 "How does this affect maybe my future relationships?
12:00 And how I feel and think about this when I...
12:02 When we get so used to that instant gratification.
12:06 What happens in marriage
12:08 that when you have to rely on another person
12:11 or will you still be going back to that
12:12 during your marriage?
12:14 Right, right. Right.
12:15 And those are things to consider.
12:16 You know, right now we're basically talking about
12:19 masturbation and is it good or not?
12:23 In the next episode, we'll actually get into
12:25 how to overcome it, how to deal with it.
12:27 But one more thing
12:28 that I want to get into today a little bit is,
12:31 you know, a lot of the times people struggle with this
12:36 because of the decisions of the parents, you know.
12:40 And this I want to just talk about this a little bit
12:43 because I think a lot of times parents don't understand
12:46 what they're setting their children up for.
12:48 And so if there's parents watching this,
12:50 this is especially to you all or even to young people
12:52 who are getting ready to get into...
12:55 Getting ready to get married, and have children,
12:57 and everything like that,
12:59 you know, if as parents there's a lot of immorality,
13:05 if there's a lot of...
13:06 If there's too much sex a lot of times,
13:09 that will cause an unbalance in your children
13:11 to want to even more.
13:13 And other things too to think about
13:15 is just the diet that we can substantially influence
13:20 how much, how many urges we have.
13:23 Do you guys want to say anything about that?
13:25 I just...
13:26 There are study, and I mean just the principle
13:27 of temperance in general.
13:29 If you keep telling...
13:30 If you just keep saying yes to any desire your body has,
13:31 whether it be for how you're eating or anything else,
13:34 it's very difficult to overcome
13:36 when you're face-to-face with temptation
13:37 because you train your body to give in.
13:39 And it goes in all facets of any desires
13:41 or passions we have,
13:43 whether it be for appetite, for sweets, for alcohol,
13:44 for drugs, for sexual gratification,
13:47 There certainly are some connections there that are...
13:50 With the time given, we can't really flush out,
13:52 but there are some connections there to be sure.
13:55 So yeah, we're running out of time here again today,
13:58 but I just want to really say, you know,
14:01 if you're out there and you're struggling with this,
14:02 if this is something
14:03 that you're wrestling with, seek help.
14:06 You know, go to God,
14:07 go to other people that you can trust,
14:09 and don't let it just fester, do everything that you can.
14:13 And in the next episode,
14:14 we'll actually get into it even more
14:15 and talk about some practical tips
14:17 for how to overcome this stuff,
14:19 but in the meantime you can submit your questions
14:21 on our Facebook, RQRA3ABN.