Coping Devices; the Holy, the Unholy & the Beneficial

Journey Sharing Group Discussion

Background Notes

In our humanity, we reach for coping devices to deal with the stresses of life. This is not an inherently sinful impulse. Coping devices can be holy, beneficial, or very unholy.

Beware, this is nitty-gritty life stuff.  It’s where the devil wages war with us every day.

UNHOLY:  Our enemy, knowing we need coping devices, surrounds us with a plethora of unholy options; all deceptively promising to divert and relieve our stress. 

  • Blatantly sinful temptations NO ONE is above these sins: sexual sins, greed, prideful pursuits
  • Neutral things turned into obcession, become unholy coping devices:  Politics; self-help initiatives; conspiracy theories; current event speculations
  • Good things can also be taken to obcess and turn into unholy coping devices:
    • Home decorating, cooking, children or extended family, pleasure, vacations, hobbies, physical appearance, fitness, food and nutrition, health
    • Interpersonal relationships or issues at church; minor theology disputes
    • Clean, even Christian, novels, movies or fantasies.
    • Facebook–busy body temptations, Pinterest–discontentment, Social Media–time wasters

Unholy coping devices (blatant, neutral or good) unconsciously become obsessive. From obsession, they become a catalyst for sin.  Here’s how:

  • numb us from feeling spiritually focused emotions    
  • distract/deplete us from spiritually focused efforts and priorities
  • drain our passion and energy away from our real life mission and purpose
  • they produce the opposite of the refreshment and comfort they promise; they leave us hallow, exhausted and discouraged

BENEFICAL:  Coping devices, such as hobbies enrich, nourish and provide an outlet for our God-given creativity.  These wholesome coping methods, when appropriate to our life season and done in balance, are beneficial blessings from the Lord.

  • Blessings can become curses/ there’s a fine line between preventing burn out and an excuse to cop out of priorities. Sometimes exhaustion and laziness are kin in ways we don’t care to admit

HOLY:  The Lord has provided three Holy Coping Gifts/Provisions to deeply sustain us. These provisional gifts refresh, comfort, strengthen and restore us on a soul level.

HE Gives us…..

  1. HIMSELF (embedded in Himself is His Word)  Psalm 62:5-8 TPT ; Psalm 27:8 NLT Psalm 119:114 & 116 TPT; Psalm 55:22 TPT;
  2. Nature  Ps 19:1-6; Psalm 65:8; example of Jesus seeking solitary places in nature to pray and often to teach (ie: the sermon on the mount, feeding of 5,000, Garden of Gethsemane)
  3. Each Other  Romans 1:11-12 TPT; 2Tim 2:7; Philemon 7 (fellowship & good works)