It is Not The Members Fault

It is not the members’ fault that a pastor died by suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase the risk of suicide. https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/

 

There is no one reason why a person dies by suicide. Now I am not saying that members should not treat their leaders well. However, I am saying that pastors do not die by suicide just because their members did not come to church that Sunday. For someone who is living with a severe and persistent mental illness, stress can be a trigger. If you are living with a persistent mental illness, you have to manage your stress. Pastors and leaders have to be honest, are they performing a job that they should not be performing? And why? Are they emotionally/psychologically whole? Have they dealt with their emotional issues, or are they using the pulpit to work through problems? Are they operating in pride or fear, which is why they can’t be honest with themselves and or the congregation?

 

Living with severe mental illness, just like living with any long term illness or condition will require changes. Change in how you maneuver life, changes in diet, in sleeping habits, etc. must be managed. If you are living with a persistent and severe mental illness, you will have to manage your stress and make lifestyle changes. Now what is stressful to you may not be stressful to me, which is why you have to be honest with you. You have to be honest about your challenges and take steps to protect your health. You have to know your warning signs, relapse signs, and set up strategies to manage your mental health. 

 

There is a lot of talk going around about how hard it is to be a Pastor. Pastoring is a stressful job, but so is being a police officer, firefighter, or teacher. But because being a police officer and or firefighter is a stressful job, individuals in those professions undergo mental fitness exams. Pastors do not have such a review that they must pass. So, unfortunately, we have many people who are operating in the role of a pastor or senior leader who should not be. We have many people who are serving in the role of a pastor or senior leader who have gone into the pulpit with unresolved emotional/psychological issues. Then you have Pastors with chronic mental health issues who need ongoing support but who are not getting it.

 

 The objectives of the enemy is to kill, steal, and destroy. He can accomplish those objectives when we are not honest with ourselves about ourselves. You don’t have to battle your emotions; you can cast them on the Lord and yield to the Holy Spirit as He leads and guides. But you can’t do that if you are not honest and if you feel that you always have to have all of the answers. Pride, unresolved feelings of rejection and low self-esteem, will have us operating in areas like pastoring and other helping professions with a dishonest spirit. It is dishonest when we are not able to open up with what is going on with us and seek the help that we need.  AL (IGBATT Copyright 2019)



Healing Can Occur Any Time

For some people, wholeness or healing may occur instantly through the tools of prayer and faith. For others, the process may occur gradually over time.  But whatever tools God chooses to use, it is still His grace and mercy at work in your life.
 Trust God in the midst of whatever challenge you are facing, and utilize the tools He has designed for you.
 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

 

 

 



Children and Youth

Parents Talk To Your Children About Mental Health
 

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)
TTY: 1-800-799-4889
Website: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call is routed to the nearest crisis center in the national network of more than 150 crisis centers.

 


Faith Without Works Is Dead

Spiritually emotionally healthy people can assess their behavior, identify areas that need to change and develop strategies without beating themselves up. Healthy people can accept criticism, analyze it, and when required, make changes. Emotionally healthy people understand that people are human, that people will make mistakes and that no one human being should be put up on a pedestal. Emotionally healthy people can confront issues when needed, and they don’t overreact to things in the now based on events in the past. Spiritually healthy people rely on Jesus Christ and His Word but understand that the word of God is not merely a feel-good book. They know that they have to put their faith into action and not use their faith as an excuse not to change. Spiritually healthy people do not use the Word of God as an excuse to hide, to not grow or to take responsibility for their lives.



Trusting God To Health The Scars of Sexual Abuse (Minister Martin)

Trusting God to Heal the Scars of Sexual Abuse

Dawn Wilson

Pornography, Addictions & Abuse

 

“You need to learn to trust men again.”

When she said this just moments after I admitted I had been sexually abused as a child by a man I trusted, I got mad . . . mad! She didn’t understand the depth of my fear, disgust, anger, and helplessness. She didn’t even acknowledge my emotional scars. 

As with many women, my scars of abuse felt unique. I was confused about what was normal and used a variety of defense mechanisms to get through life.

If you’ve been sexually abused, you may be coping in one or more of the following ways. You hide or keep people at extreme distances, afraid of being hurt again. You remain numb through adulthood. If married, you find it difficult to respond sexually. You fear biblical submission—afraid of losing control.

You may feel damaged, see yourself as a sex object, flaunt your sexuality, and descend into promiscuity and other sexual sins. You may not understand the power of the gospel and focus instead on pleasing God to gain His favor.

You might respond to your abuse with anxiety, depression, self-loathing, self-harming actions, fear of intimacy, homosexuality, indecisiveness, perfectionism, a need to control, eating disorders, or addictions.

Satan doesn’t care how we react to the sinfulness of sexual abuse . . . if we don’t turn to Jesus. The enemy knows that when we find our identity, security, and dignity in Christ, we can live in victory.

Twisted Thinking

Some feel the need to protect their abuser and not hurt others who loved him. The enemy delights in warping thoughts.

We must learn to trust God with our past hurts.

Lessons I Learned

God loves us. Deeply and completely. The enemy loves it when we feel shame, condemnation, and self-loathing, but God’s Word says I am precious in God’s sight—accepted and valued (Isa. 43:4).

We do not have to stay silent or bury the pain and trauma. The Lord hates all wickedness, including our abuser’s sinful actions (Ps. 11:5).

We can pray for wisdom and entrust true justice to the righteous heart of God. He always has the last word—He brings justice to the unrepentant and great mercy to the repentant (Ps. 103:6).

I know I can forgive others because I have been so greatly forgiven. Bitterness will only make my pain worse and continue to wound others (Heb. 12:15).

I can pray for my abuser’s change of heart and repentance—that my abuser will seek the Lord, turn from wickedness, and learn to live a godly life so God will be glorified (Luke 6:28).

I do not have to live in fear like a victim. Peace and victory come as I study and rest in who I am in Christ (Eph. 1:3–8).

As I run to the Lord who sees, heals, and comforts, I can use what the enemy meant for evil to bring glory and praise to God (Gen. 50:20).

I can learn how to communicate clear, pure boundaries in all relationships and speak truth in love (Eph. 4:15).

I must be aware of the enemy’s schemes to control my responses and defeat me. I must saturate my life with Scripture and remember God’s grace is greater than the condemnation I feel (1 John 3:20).

Knowing my thoughts will control my actions and responses, I must allow God to transform my thinking so I can make daily choices to please Him (Rom. 12:2).

We can also encourage those who still struggle toward freedom from the pain and insecurities that arise out of sexual abuse (Gal. 6:2).

Set Free and Healing

Second Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” I’ve discovered everything I need to move forward in grace and strength comes from abiding in God’s presence and the Word of God.

 

The path to thriving begins with God-focus, not self-focus. If we continue to gaze inward, we will always see our scars, but when we gaze on Jesus, we see His scars and remember He died to make us whole again. We can trust this One who loved us so completely.

 

I’ve grown in Christ, but it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had many questions, and my heart screamed for answers. Satan wants us to believe God is not good and does not care, but our Father God is never blind to the sins that hurt His people. He grieves over all sin and hates it. Sometimes the Lord deals directly with others’ sinful behavior against us; other times, it’s just not time yet. In mercy, God gives even the evilest among us opportunities to turn to Him and repent.

My great comfort is that Jesus understands abuse. He suffered great abuse and even death to give us life (see Isa. 53). He brings hope for today and tomorrow and, most certainly, hope for dealing in victory with hurtful past circumstances.

Although Jesus said He came to give me abundant life (John 10:10), sometimes I resort to survival mode when I allow myself to feel ashamed. In those moments, I forget who I am—or rather, whose I am. Jesus bore my shame on the cross; I don’t need to bear it for one moment.

Father God, I ask You to bring victory and healing to those who suffer. Surround them with Your presence, help them see You as You really are, and show them the overcoming power in Your Word. Amen.

Every 92 seconds, another person experiences sexual assault.

Sexual violence affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. While we’re making progress — the number of assaults has fallen by more than half since 1993 — even today, only 5 out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison.

 There are many types of sexual violence, including rape, child sexual abuse, and intimate partner sexual violence—and other crimes and forms of violence may arise jointly in these instances.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault can take many different forms and be defined in different ways, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault.

READ MORE

Sexual Assault of Men and Boys

Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused may also face some additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.

Intimate Partner Sexual Violence

A perpetrator can have any relationship to a victim, and that includes the role of an intimate partner.

 

Minister Martin 2019 All Rights Reserved