What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
King Solomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. But for those who desire to minister to hurting teens it seems as if a new issue has been gaining popularity among our teens over the last few years—the issue of cutting—and many who desire to help are unsure how to handle this issue.
The interesting point to note is that King Solomon was right, even with the issue of cutting. In Deuteronomy 14:1 God’s Word warns: “You are children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves.” And in Leviticus 19:28 it is written, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”
So we see that the issue of cutting is not a new issue or a unique issue but an issue that God addressed within His Word way before this generation was a twinkle in their father’s eye. But the best part is, since it is an issue that is addressed within the Word you can be assured that the answer in how to deal with this issue can also be discovered within!
But before we get to that answer let me share with you what I have heard from the teens themselves who are struggling with this issue to give you a little glimpse of why they struggle as they do.
For the majority there are two reasons they describe their desire to cut. Many hurt so badly that they erect a protective barrier around their hearts which causes them to get to the place of complete numbness. For them, cutting can be a way to feel something—anything—again. For others, cutting is a means of punishment that they feel they deserve. In talking with teens many describe that they feel a release when they see the blood.
Whenever a teen describes the feeling of release I immediately share this with them: Your right, it’s the blood that sets you free! But where you’re confused is you will forever have to keep cutting to feel the release to cover your wrongs until you get to the point and accept what Jesus did on the cross for you. It’s His blood that will set you free! Yours never will. It’s only Jesus’ blood that has the power to set you free. Hebrews 9:22b states “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Revelation 1:5 says “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.” And best yet, Hebrews 10:10 declares “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (emphasis added).” It’s done! Once for all! The shedding of His blood once covered the need to be punished forever. All that is required is to accept His gift as we admit our sin to ourselves, confess them to God and repent of them by changing our ways!
For those of you who desire to minister to hurting teens share this truth with them. Teach them how to admit their sins to themselves, confess them to God and repent of them by changing their ways—including putting down the blade—since Jesus’ blood is sufficient to forever provide the release. Take the time to disciple the hurting ones in your midst and share with them the final 18 hours of Christ’s life. When we take the time to honestly look at the price He paid for us we can be set free.
If you are unsure how to do that or are looking for a good tool get my book Go in Peace (not the book Go in Peace for Teens) and share with them chapter 10 The Price is Paid. It shows the depth of the love Christ has for us when He chose to shed His blood for you and for me and for the teens you are ministering to.
Deuteronomy 14:1-2 goes onto say: “You are children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves. . . . For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.”
Let’s take the time today to teach the teens of this generation that they are a people holy to the Lord. They are His treasured possessions. As we teach them to grab hold of God’s Word and that He is alive and living for today the teens of this generation will set down their blades and more importantly they will become all that God intends them to be.
May God use you mightily to share His truth.
Adapted from my book Go in Peace for Teens. Available for purchase from www.sunflowerpress.net or through www.amazon.com.
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So interesting. Do you relate the tattoo craze to this verse as well?
Good question. I do have some personal beliefs about tattoos that do relate to the verse quoted above and others. But I do not want to answer quickly. So as soon as I have more time I will answer in detail. Check back in a couple of days!
I too am curious to hear about believers putting tatts all over their bodies.
I’ll try to write that blog about tatts this week! So much to do, so little time!