Cutting and Other Self-Injuries

(This is an update of a devotional I wrote in 2011 and I am updating it because of an increase in sadness and depression in teen girls of 57% according to a press release by the CDC 03.13.23. Far too many then turn to cutting and other self-injuries. Why? According to a March 14, 2010 Psychology Today article cutting triggers a release of endogenous opiates.” The article said that “cutting delivers a kind of disembodied rush.” The article also quoted one girl who said about cutting, “I felt like I was up on the ceiling watching myself do it. I was literally high.” This devotional speaks to the impulse or the reason the self-injuries begin.)

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:27 NKJV.

And the LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the priests…he shall not defile himself…They shall not…make any cuttings in their flesh.” – Leviticus 21:1-6 NKJV.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV.

Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains,  because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. – Mark 5:1-6 NKJV.

Alicia Moore and her parents in a 2009 interview on CBS News described her addiction to cutting, which was how she would injure herself. The cutting of her flesh began when she was in the fifth grade. Alicia was and is a beautiful, intelligent, and talented person. Yet, because of this she felt somehow different and said, “It was devastating. I thought there was something wrong with me.” She says she felt better after she hurt herself and it was a release. On her online blog which her parents discovered she said it relieved her anger and pain. Also, in Alicia’s video blog she ends at least one with a short prayer saying “Lord, help me.” Alicia is no longer cutting and appears to be a very emotionally stable individual now. (02.11.09 CBS News)

As I read on one site about cutting and self-injury, there is a beginning, and that beginning is an impulse to cut, or to injure. I believe that beginning impulse comes straight from the pits of hell. Cutting and self-injury are demonically inspired. One example that we have in the Biblical record is the Gadarene demoniac who while demon possessed “was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.” Another example is of the contest on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. When the prophets of Baal received no answer from their false god the Bible says this in 1 Kings 18:28, “So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.”   

I am not saying that all who cut and self-injure are demon possessed. They could be, but if they know the Lord as their personal Savior, and they self-injure it is not demon possession, it is demonic influence by way of “fiery darts” as mentioned in Ephesians chapter six.

In the Old Testament priests are commanded not to cut themselves, not to defile themselves by cutting. Now, in the New Testament believers are told in 1 Peter 2: 9, “you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.” Also, in 1 Corinthians 3:16, we are told that the believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 1, we are told that mankind has been created in God’s image. With these things in mind, consider this statement by Karen Conterio, co-author of “Bodily Harm,” who says “self-loathing is typical for self-injurers. Self-injury can be used as a punishment, it’s intentional. Self-injury can be used as a way to say ‘Look at how much I hate myself.’” I would suggest that self-injury is a demonic way of attacking God Himself. It is the demonic “fiery dart” of an impulse, of inspiration that the person is responding to by way of cutting.

Alicia Moore’s prayer of “Lord, help me” was exactly what she needed to pray. As one alcoholic I knew personally, shared how his addiction was overcome, he said that he prayed the same thing over and over for eight months, “God, take it away from me.” God did take the addiction away from him, just as he took away Alicia Moore’s addiction. He can do the same for all who turn to Him for help.

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