Vicarious Trauma

Vicarious Trauma is a term used in the psychological health field. Here is a definition of that concept.

Vicarious trauma is the process of change that happens because you care about other people who have been hurt, and feel committed or responsible to help them. Over time this process can lead to changes in your psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being.

This is a biblical concept. When one member of the body suffers all the other members suffer. There is a suffering of seeing others suffer. There is pain in walking with others in pain. It is common in ministry for this type of vicarious trauma to compound. Without knowing it we may be exhausted because of all the pain we are around. I think this is a helpful concept. We will not be untouched by others pain. We will suffer if we choose to engage hurting people. Jesus shows us this. Instead of staying above he came low. He wept over Lazarus. He was angry at the Pharisees. He was hurt by the betrayal of his disciples. He wept over the coming cross. He entered our pain. He took it on. He died for us.

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