Processing emotional pain

FRANKLIN LIVING— C.S. Lewis once said, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

We all experience pain. Sometimes it’s the result of our own bad decisions. Other times it’s the poor judgement of others. Pain is inevitable. It would be wise to recognize pain and then to face it with hope, courage and strength.

God isn’t in the business of causing pain, but He will use that pain to clear our vision and strengthen our faith. Processing emotional pain in ways that don’t facilitate healing only prolongs the pain.

Processing pain by amputating it is a serious error in judgment. It’s not wise to cut it off, ignore it and throw it away. When we pretend that our emotional pain doesn’t exist, we live in a state of artificial happiness; we accept a false identity!

Live in the moment and allow your pain to benefit you spiritually. Draw closer to God in those times; pray, read the scriptures and reach out to a loving God! Don’t amputate your pain; grow stronger through it. Remember that “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit,” Psalm 34:18.

Another terrible way to process pain is to fabricate it. We fabricate our emotional pain when we give it meaning and power that it doesn’t really possess. We tell ourselves how we somehow deserve this pain or that this pain defines our existence. We build a story around our pain and convince ourselves that this is our life – our fate. But it’s not true!

Our pain isn’t who we are. It’s just a part of our story – a chapter that we should grow through and become better for having lived through it. If you’re fabricating your pain, stop lying to yourself. Clear your mind, focus on what’s real and move toward freedom from pain in the truth. Don’t fabricate false stories about your pain. Recognize the truth and live it out.

The Biblical method to process pain is to integrate it into our lives. We should use the pain as fuel, like a launching point to heal our minds and then to serve others.

Processing pain this way cultivates confidence and emotional strength. It clarifies those things we don’t need in our lives and reveals those things and those people we do need in our lives. Integrate that pain into your life experience. Grow from it.

It’s incredible how our pain seems so small if we’re helping another person deal with their emotional pain. This is a blessing of living the Christian life: As we bear one another’s burdens, we realize that our own burdens aren’t quite as heavy as we once thought.


Trae Durden has been the preaching minister at North Highlands church of Christ in Russellville since January 2013. He is married to Leann Durden, and they have a daughter, Darcy Grace (15), and a son, Dalton (12).

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