Understanding the client


What is the source of all emotional/spiritual pain!

No matter who you are, what your socio-economic condition, education, or profession:

Emotional/Spiritual Pain is pain. Shame is shame. Guilt is guilt.

No man woman or child is ever truly free of such pain until they are fully and completely washed clean through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

Typically the wounded victim is the weaker sex, the woman. Woman are the ones who most commonly populate a recovery meeting.

However, it is important that pain is no respecter of gender any more than any of the issues are. Men hurt. Children hurt. Teens hurt. Senior citizens hurt.

However, men commonly don’t know how to show their pain or get in touch with their feelings.


In Colorado, I was teaching a men’s group through the process of FREE ME TO LIVE.

As I addressed the emotional hurts of sin, these men collectively looked like a herd of deer who have just seen the headlights on your truck.

The old expression of “deer in the headlights” was vividly apparent. Thus, to reach these men, I had to adjust my approach.

I began telling them stories. I began talking about missing the ball when batting. How it felt to strike out as a kid in front of all the other kids.

How it made me feel small. I used the example of how it made me feel as a child in third grade to have accidentally urinated in my pants.

How humiliated I was as it ran down my leg onto the floor right there in the middle of the classroom.

Using stories, they connected. Asking them to tell me a story about how their abortion choice had made them feel resonated.

One man in particular was like a dog that had been beaten. He was cowered down, afraid to look or speak to anyone.

I asked him to paint us a word picture of what he would like to be if he could ‘rewrite’ his own self.

We were all taken aback as he started talking about this strong muscle man who would stand tall, be very popular and well-educated.

The break-thru came when I asked what must the LORD do to have “Bill, the scared, timid, shy boy stand tall like this muscle man?” He started weeping like a baby because he didn’t know how and felt like he could never be that other man.

That gave every man in the room permission to ‘feel’ for Bill and Bill responded as each one had a word for him. Stories work!

With men, you will find greater success using stories and parables just as Jesus did. Look around the landscape of Christianity today. Men like Max Lacado, James Dobson, Frank Peretti,and John McArthur appeal to men in record numbers because they have mastered the art of telling stories.

As you consider this question, make a list of all the hurts in your own life or those you know. What is their source of pain? What about people you know in ministry?

Do you know about their pain? Possibly not, because we are masters of hiding behind masks. If we could get everyone we know to take off their masks and be real, this would be a better world.

KEY CONSIDERATION: Almost all emotional hurts have their root in sin. Either my own sin or the sin of someone else.

NEXT: Big Boys Don’t Cry