Trauma Care in Galatians 6
On this week’s podcast, Dan begins a new series, based on Galatians 6, about trauma care and the effect that it has on you, the person engaging the trauma. For the next three weeks, Dan will address how to help restore those who are struggling with the effects of their own sin, how to help carry those affected by the sins of others, and how to own your own life in the process of helping other people. He begins by recounting a recent conversation with a pastor friend who listened to the Trauma and the Church series and had questions about how Scripture addresses trauma.
“Doesn’t it make sense that the Scriptures would have a whole lot to say about […] helping us grow in our ability to care for those in trauma? If trauma is that central to the Bible, it seems rather obvious that there’s going to be a lot gained from reading the Scripture with trauma in mind.”
There’s going to be a lot gained from reading the Scripture with trauma in mind.”
Dan looks at the opening verses of Galatians 6, particularly the instructions to humbly and gently carry each other’s burdens. Humility means not trying to help from a position of arrogance, self-righteousness, or religious narcissism, but recognizing that we need to be restored as well and being able to say, “I see you because I see myself.” When we acknowledge that, says Dan we are more able to gently speak into another’s life and invite engagement with their self-destructive patterns.
“You’ve invited them to be able to put that process on pause, to begin to re-engage what the problem is. It’s community participation in another person’s trauma.”
The following verses warn us not to fall into the same pit that we are trying to help someone else climb out of. Addressing the effects of another person’s sin will trigger your own ways of handling sin in the past. This reveals the fundamental truth that these problems are not just about outer behavior, but about the battle for the human heart.
“Whenever you’re dealing with sin, you’re dealing with more than just human brokenness. You’re dealing with a kingdom of darkness. […] You have to address protecting your own heart from not merely temptation, past trauma, and triggering, but from the reality that you’re putting your hand into a hornet’s nest. If you’re going to do that, I hope your hand is protected.”
You’re dealing with more than just human brokenness. You’re dealing with a kingdom of darkness.
Next week, Dan will continue the conversation by looking at this question: In helping people be restored to goodness and life, how do we help carry those who are not struggling with their own sin but with the effects of other people’s sin against them?