Neuropathy comes in many forms. I recently studied about this problem because of a family member. A basic understanding is that a set of nerves is not communicating properly. This can lead to loss of feeling, loss of limbs, extreme pain, and possibly more. In one case, the patient was experiencing severe abdominal pain. After much testing and prognosticating, the doctors decided that it was a result of intestinal neuropathy being exacerbated by abdominal migraines. This issue in this case was that the pain being felt was exaggerated by the nerve pack and telling the brain a higher pain amount than what was likely the reality. Pain was real and being felt, however the communication was exaggerated. The severity of the pain was causing normal life to come to a grinding halt, coping mechanisms to falter, and appetite to lessen. Once this was discovered medicine was prescribed and would take a couple of weeks before taking effect.
I have served in the local church for almost 20 years. I grew up in church as a deacon’s kid and then pastor’s kid. I have seen my share of pain and dysfunction along the way. This research has shown me a few insights into local church life worthy of sharing with you today. I pray that you will read these and begin making changes in your life and your church. One of things that we all ask is how something comes to be. What triggers neuropathy, pain, attendance drops, or church splits?
1. Poor Nutrition. It is not too difficult to understand that what you ingest into your system makes all the difference. A healthy diet creates a healthy person. A steady diet of junk food, fatty foods, etc will cause many and severe problems. This works spiritually as well. A healthy diet of scripture creates a healthy spiritual life. You will be able to withstand viruses and sicknesses more readily. A church that lacks solid Bible teaching from the pulpit will become weak and lifeless.
2. Trauma. Sometimes a body can face a trauma that triggers this problem as well. Carpal Tunnel is generally acquired in those who have repetitive motion. Someone who does the same thing over and over can cause nerve damage. How true that is in our spiritual lives! There are good habits (reading scripture) and bad habits (gossip, lying, cheating stealing, cussing) can cause trauma to tissue and nerve endings. Those bad habits can cause damage which, in turn, creates great pain. A church can face trauma of a bad departure of a minister or factions divided over personal preference issues. A person facing unrequited love, or death, or wreck, can be traumatic and trigger the pain center. Coping mechanisms can help ease the stress and anxiety. Lowering these has shown to ease the pain.
3. Tumors. As a tumor grows it will lay against a nerve and create damage. What is there in your life that is creating damage? Why leave it in? Is the presence of this tumor more important than the damage it is causing. Churches have tumors too. At times it might be programs or ministries that lay on the budget or burn human resource. The tumor might be a person or group of people. Is losing them hurt more or less than the damage they are causing by their presence? Soon the pain will explode and become uncontrollable. In the end, there is permanent damage which could have been avoided. Removal of the tumor is an obvious fix. The potential damage by removal is less than if it remains.
Spiritual Neuropathy should not be minimized. We tend to deny. We like to disregard. However, aggressive treatment is required to avoid irreparable damage.