In my previous article I talked about how statistics show that self harm is growing as a coping strategy for young people. Pressures, such as internet bullying, school expectations, body image, family, mental and physical illnesses, can develop the thoughts that can trigger people to harm themselves.
I think Psalm 139 is the perfect weapon for this battle. If you have a Bible to hand grab it, or you can follow this link to read it online.
I love these verses! What do you think? It’s often the go-to bible passage for teaching on self worth and body image, and for good reason. Here are a few of the thought-triggers that can lead to self harm, and some Bible truth to speak into those situations:
“I’m not worth anything”
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Everything God creates is wonderful, including you. God the artist created you and then took a step back, looked proudly at his work and said “wonderful.”
“I want people to know I’m hurting inside”
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
God knows exactly what’s going on, you are not alone.
“It helps me find relief”
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
God has his giant hand holding you safe and he never lets go. You can find rest in Him.
“I want to regain control over my life”
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
God knows what’s going on, He’s in control of your past, present and future. The control is always His, you can rest in that truth.
“It helps me escape when I feel overwhelmed”
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
Here we see the Psalm-writer, David, telling God all his inner thoughts. He was really honest with God about the people and situations that were too much for him. When things get too much, we have a God who listens to us and takes our burdens from us.
“I need to punish myself”
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
God sees into your heart and he loves you and gently leads you towards him. He has taken the punishment, you don’t have to.
There are many more reasons for harming that I haven’t listed. If you self harm, your pain is personal and specific to you and it might not fit into any of these categories. I challenge you to look through your Bible and find passages that speak into your situation.
For more information, professional advice and guidance on how to get support, you can visit: