Two Opposite Pairs

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.—Proverbs 14:12

I have met many people who have experienced such deep hurt in their early relationships that they cannot rid themselves of negative ideas about having God as their Father, and by God’s grace I have been able to help some of them. But the route to healing is not an easy one and involves walking a path that is quite different from the one a secular counselor might suggest.

The route which the world usually advises victims of parental abuse to take consists of three steps: self-discovery, self-expression, and self-protection. Self-discovery is where the victim is encouraged to get in touch with his or her repressed emotions. Self-expression is the release and expression of those emotions. Self-protection is the establishment of boundaries around one’s life so that one will never have to endure or experience serious hurt again.

The biblical route to healing, while recognizing some truth in these ideas, starts from a different base and leads to a different goal. It begins with the question: Do I believe that a God who allowed me to be as deeply hurt as I was is good? And it ends with the question: Am I willing to give myself to those I am called to love and to be more interested in loving well than in protecting myself against hurt?

Which sounds like the easier path of these two? Undoubtedly, the way of the world. The way of Christ may seem as if it is the route to death, but really it is the route to life. To live we must be willing to die; to find we must be willing to lose.


Father, help me take Your way in everything I pray. I don’t want symptom relief; I want a complete cure. And if I don’t need help on this particular issue, help me learn how to be of help to others. Amen.

Further Study

Mt 5:43-48; 7:13-14; 16:24-25; Jn 12:24-25

What is the biblical way to life?

What makes the narrow way narrow?

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