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Handling Stress and Trauma

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2024 6:00 am

Handling Stress and Trauma

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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May 8, 2024 6:00 am

In this episode of Clearview Today, Dr. Shah wraps up the conversation on stress and trauma by giving us advice on how to properly view struggles in our life.

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Check out the links below for more content from Dr. Shah and the Clearview team!

Read - Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament
Watch - Dr. Shah's YouTube Channel
Listen - Sermons by Abidan Shah, Ph.D. Podcast

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And use that promo code, T-O-D-A-Y. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm Ryan Hill.

John Galantis. And you can find more information about our show by visiting ClearviewTodayShow.com. Or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Or you can email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com.

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We're going to leave a couple of links right there in the description so you can do just that. And today's verse of the day is coming to you from 1 Peter, chapter 5, verse 8. Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. It's an inconvenient truth.

Well, really not an inconvenient truth. It's kind of a cataclysmic truth for a lot of people that you have an enemy. Well, a lot of us like to think that we're so below the radar that we don't have enemies in life. You know, enemies, that's for big people.

People doing big things. And same with Christians. You know, big, big pastors, big men of God, they've got enemies. But man, I don't have no enemies. But you have an enemy who is not only against you, is actively seeking you out and actively working against you. It's a very sobering thought, and I love that command there. Be sober, mind. Don't let your guard down. And I feel like a lot of Christians live with their guard down.

Yeah. It says be sober, be vigilant, and we need to remember that we are not the one that is doing battle. We are not the one that is going to war. We stand behind Christ, who has already won the battle for us. There's a lot of people who like to use that language, like, I'm going to stomp on the devil. Man, he's been doing this a lot longer than we have, and he has all kinds of tactics and tricks up his sleeve, and I just want to stand behind Jesus and let him—I know that I have victory in him, and I know that the battle has been won on my account, but I'm going to stand behind him, because he's the one who's won the victory, not me. Right.

That's not my victory to gloat for. And a lot of God's word reminds us of that. And if you find that getting up in the morning and reading God's word is not happening for you, one of the great places you can start is by downloading the Date the Word app. That's where we get every single verse that we read on this show. You can get it on iPhone or Android for completely free, and every single day connects today's date to God's word with the hope of making it more memorable for you. For the low, low price of zero.

That's right. Low, low prices every single day, guaranteed. That's Date the Word right now. I don't know how he makes any money off of it.

He may not. Alright, we've got a new segment for y'all today. This is one that we kind of pushed back and forth for a little while, wanted to do it, didn't want to do it, couldn't think of a name for it, but I think we've found the perfect name. Say it with me now.

This is hashtag Urkel style. Did I do it? We have all had those moments, right, where you do something really dumb. In public, no less.

Really embarrassing. And then it's like, why on earth did I just do that? What was I thinking? Or why was I not thinking? And I felt like, with social faux pas, there's no one better to kick off the very first inaugural than our good friend David Williamson, who engineers the Cleary Today show.

Oh, I thought you were going to say who engineers social faux pas. Well, you do that as well. And you told me a story today that really, really set my teeth on edge of something dumb that you did. It really grated my cheese. It did. It ruffled my jimmies.

My flabbers were gassed. Yeah, there you go. Tell us what you did. Let me give some backstory first.

Can I do that? Yeah, the floor's yours. I was at the house this morning, and I had some nice breakfast. It was garlicky breakfast. Praise the Lord for that.

We love that for you. It did not smell good. And I don't love the garlicky breakfast, but you do.

Go ahead, go ahead. So I was eating breakfast. I had my garlicky breakfast.

I leave the house after eating breakfast. And my breath is not. It's bad. Yeah, it is bad.

I'm with you. So here's what happens. As we're eating breakfast, or eating breakfast, as I'm on the way to the gym, I'm like, okay, my breath is going to stink when I walk in here to talk to everybody.

So I need to figure out something. Oh, I look at my bag beside me, and I have mouthwash. That's a staple bachelor move, is you just keep mouthwashing your car. I used to do that.

No problem. So what I do is grab this mouthwash, take a swig, swish it around, get out my car, walk in the gym. Wait a minute, you walk in the gym, and it's still in your mouth.

That's a big problem, right? So as I'm walking in, I'm thinking to myself, normally when I walk in around this time of day, nobody's here. I just walk in, walk past, scan my card, and go to the back.

So I'm thinking it'll be the same thing. As I walk into the gym, there is not only the lady who works the front desk, a lady who works in the back, one of the personal trainers who works there, but the CEO of the YMCA is standing there, hand-outstretched, saying, hey, David, how are you? And what do I have to do? I walk back to the front desk, and I try to explain myself, but only one person was there. And it wasn't Paul.

And it wasn't Paul. I'm so sorry. I'm truly so sorry. So I hope that he listens to the show. I could send it to him, I guess.

We could send him the show, but at this point, I kind of want him to go on thinking that you're just a weird guy. You just walk around with your mouth full at all times. I don't know. I don't get this. I just thought I wanted to make sure my breath didn't stink, but I turned out looking like a strange person. Yeah, you look like a weirdo. You look like a weirdo.

Let's run that by a doctor. That was not great. He's on the board there, and so this could reflect poorly on him and on you. Did I do that? Did I do that? Unfortunately, yes. Yes, you did. Right. And let us know if you've had any embarrassing moments related to mouthwash. Maybe that's how we end the segment. Did I do that? Yeah.

Let us know if you've had any mouthwash-related embarrassments in your life. 252-582-5028. Let David know that he's not by himself. That he's not alone in this, although I feel like he might be.

I feel like he may be. Or you can visit us online at clearytodayshow.com. We'll be back after this. Hey, what's going on, listeners? My name is Jon.

And I'm Ellie. And we just want to take a second and let you know about Dr. Shah's new book on the market right now called, Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament? Boy, that is a long title. True, but it's a very simple message. The original text of the New Testament is not only attainable, but there are lots of different ways that scholars go about discovering it. There's a lot of people out there saying that the original text is lost forever, or that it's hopeless to actually try to find it, or that there's many texts of the New Testament. But alongside Dr. David Allen Black, Dr. Shah has actually compiled papers from some of the world's leading experts in textual criticism, including one written by himself on various methodologies for extracting the original text. And listen, if you're interested in textual criticism, this book is a great introduction to the field. You can pick up your copy on Amazon, or you can buy it from our church website. That's clearviewbc.org. We're going to leave a link in the description box so you can get your copy today. Love that. Ellie, let's hop back in.

Let's do it. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com, or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

That's right. We're here once again in the Clear View Today studio with Dr. Abbadan Shah, who is a Ph.D. in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. Dr. Shah, we started a brand new Wednesday segment. You want to know what it's called?

Sure. It's called Dina, Dina, Dina. Oh, gosh. Shout out to Steve Urkel.

Urkel style. Family Matters. Family Matters, man.

The Winslows. Have you ever done anything embarrassing that like immediately after you were like, why did I just do that? A lot of things. You really?

The question is, do I want to share them now? Have you ever had mouthwash in your mouth? And then the CEO of the Henderson YMCA says hello to you. Oh, yeah.

I know somebody who did that. Do you want to join in, David? Were you there when you did that? I saw him.

I was on the stair-step machine. Yeah, and you saw him walk in. And I'm like, I saw him, you know, with his, like this. Yeah, he's got his cheeks bumped out. And I'm like, what is he doing? Oh, wait. I bet he has some mouthwash in his mouth. I'm like, is he going to spit it out on the grass before he comes in?

No, apparently not. What happened, David? I wanted to be sure that my breath was as fresh as possible. I ate some breakfast that had some garlic stuff in it.

And I was like, this is not going to be good for my breath. Normally, when I come in here on this specific day, at this specific time, there is nobody at the front desk. I just scan and walk in. So I was like, I'll do that. Why don't you just switch it in your mouth and just spit it right in the front of the car?

That's what I'm saying. You just wait a little bit longer at your car, switch it around for a second, and then right there. That's what I should have done.

Now, I would have spit it in the grass, but that would have been a moment like, why did I just do that? Or you could have just opened the door and just gone right there. That's what I should have done. But it's still under your car.

That's what I should have done, but that is not what I did. But you decided to walk through the parking lot. Yeah, I walk past me as I'm being motivated to stay focused.

Yeah, that's pretty much how it went. It's like you see him through the window. It's like, oh, there's David.

Oh, I'm not going to wait. And then he walked into... And then what happened? Walk into the lobby, and as I go to the scan, not only is there not nobody there, there's the regular lady that's there that always says hi.

Another lady who looks like she was new, one of the people that works there, that works in the back that I know, and then the CEO of the Y himself. Now, what if there was some situation going on, and they had to ask you a question, sir, something, something, what would you do? Like, your account has been suspended.

We need to get your information. Or it was like a life-threatening situation. I'd have swallowed it.

Did you just see... I'd have been like... Bro, if you swallow that, there's no way you're functioning in the next couple of seconds. I swallowed it. I'd have swallowed it.

I'll tell you this. Let's give David a bottle of mouthwash and see if he gets PTSD from it. He walks past that eye on the grocery store and is like, ugh. He smells it. I had PTSD watching him.

Oh, yeah, I can imagine. That's really, it's not David with mouthwash. It's Dr. Shah watching David with mouthwash. And David comes in, rinses his mouth, and Dr. Shah goes... And thinking that he did not spit, and there's the door, and he went in. Oh, wow. He just went into the door. And then Dr. Shah was like, David, why would you do that? And then David said, oh, wow. And say it with me now. Anyway.

Opa Urkel style. That's our Wednesday segment. I love it. We've been looking for a Wednesday segment, and I think we've found one. We're workshopping Wednesdays, and we landed on that.

Very nice. Fantastic. Let's continue today's conversation based on, you know, we've talked about the past few days about trauma, specifically delved into kind of an introductory level of PTSD over the course of the past couple days, especially talking about Paul and his letter to the Corinthians.

So in light of that, Dr. Shah, what is your daily encouragement for people today? Should I just say, like, don't swish around, mouthwash? Yeah, that's a good one. I would say plan ahead. There you go.

Yeah. Plan ahead. Plan ahead.

Let me just forget about this mouthwash thing that David pulled. But like, let's say you're on a diet. You're trying to eat better. You're about to go somewhere where you're not sure what's going to be there.

Okay? What's going to be the food? Plan ahead. Take something like a little nutrition bar or something with you. You have that with you. And let's say you're traveling. You're going to arrive at your hotel at nine o'clock at night.

The snack machines will have a lot of junk in there. That's not what you need to eat. You've been doing so well. Plan ahead. If I had taken that advice, if I'd taken that encouragement before NRB, I would probably not look the way I do right now. Because I did not plan ahead. Well, you're young. You can pull that off.

And I hate what they gave me. Yeah. But plan ahead.

That's right. That's a great reminder for us. Plan ahead. And that helps, you know, as we're talking about stressful situations, as we're talking about trauma, don't allow yourself to just continually be blindsided. Have a game plan before you make it to those difficult situations. Because if not, all you will ever do is react. Yeah. You'll be living life on your heels. You'll be constantly reacting to what life throws at you.

And it's not going to stop throwing stuff at you. Yeah. Well, today we're going to go a little step further and talk about PTSD. Because yesterday we talked about how PTSD is defined by the World Health Organization. And I explained and we discussed how the important thing to remember is that the event overwhelms a person's ability to respond.

And it takes away their sense of safety. Those are things that are very important in somebody laughing. I was thinking about the mouthwash. I was trying to – it's such a total shift. I was like trying to get it out of my mind. All I see in front of me is that he's smiling over there.

I'm trying to like shift tone now. Do you have PTSD? Unfortunately I do. Because I've done that kind of thing before. But I spat it out in the grass and then people were like, ew. Ew, gross. All right.

Let's see your game face. Okay. As a result, there could be three clusters of responses. True.

None of them match what John just did. No. But the first cluster is re-experiencing cluster.

Maybe it did. Re-experiencing cluster with intrusive memories, flashbacks, and nightmares. That's like the feeling like you're back in it.

Right. That's the first response that comes if you have PTSD. The second is what's known as the hypervigilance or hyperarousal cluster with combative behavior and sleep disturbance. And the third one is avoidance or numbing cluster with loss of emotional feeling, loss of interest in people, indifference about goals and future, and shining activities and situations that bring back memories of that past event. So these are the three clusters of responses. Talking about Paul, do you think Paul went through a lot of these?

I believe definitely the first two, the re-experiencing and the hypervigilance. The avoidance or the numbing, maybe, but he found a way to move forward. Yeah. So he did not stay in a place of just being numb.

Like, I just don't have any feelings. Right. We mentioned this yesterday, but it's difficult to think about Paul in that sense. I mean, you think about Paul, I mean, he's just, he's Paul, hero of the faith. I mean, church planter, missionary, gospel, apostle.

I mean, it just, you think about all the letters that he wrote and all the lives that he impacted, but you forget that he also dealt with significant trauma in his life. Yes. Yes.

I want to go one step further. This is for the benefit of our listeners, because we've got so much response from these shows. True. People have been loving these shows.

Yeah, for the past few days. Well, because they feel like they're being heard. They feel like they're not, the stuff that they go through is not being minimized. Right. Right.

And so I asked Nicole to help me again about PTSD. I need more information. So, according to the DSM fifth edition, DSM is your diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorder. Right.

That's what it is. It says there are eight criteria and 24 sub-criteria for PTSD. Wow. Eight criteria and 24 criteria, sub-criteria for PTSD.

And again, according to Dr. Clark, Peter Yuichi Clark, I mentioned last week or last time, he thinks that Paul met at least three of the eight criteria and six of the 24. Wow. So significant impact on Paul's mental health and mental wellbeing. Yes. Yes. And just for the benefit of our listeners and our viewers, some of these criteria and sub-criteria would be exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one or more of the following ways.

Now, sexual violence part, we don't hear that in scripture, but at least the first two. Yeah, definitely. Sub-criteria under that criteria would be directly experiencing the traumatic event or events.

Right. Secondly, the second criteria, presence of one or more of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event or events beginning after the traumatic event occurred or events occurred. And under this comes recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event or events, intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues.

I know this is a lot of big words coming at you guys, so just bear with me. Now, these are intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event or events. So like if you witness a homicide or whatever and you see a gun later in life, you see that and it kind of takes you back to that place. Keeps coming back, yeah, yeah.

I got you. And the third sub-criteria under this criteria would be marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event. So there are cues, like things happen. Here we talk about triggering, getting triggered. But I think in our culture today, especially among the younger generation, we talk a lot about triggers. That's my trigger.

But I think we're joking. Sometimes, it's just like, oh, that's my trigger. I don't think they understand what that really means. What it means in the psychological context as it relates to PTSD, genuinely how it triggers the behavior.

It's become a synonym for, oh, you're offended, or you're angry, I triggered you. Yeah, we don't understand the depth of what it is that we're even joking about or terms that we're using. We don't know what it is because we haven't truly experienced those things. And I don't want to make light of it. If somebody has gone through abuse, folks, if you're listening to me, whether you got diagnosed or not, I'm not here to make it look like you got nothing. This is the person who has real... No, I do want to acknowledge it. At the same time, I'm trying to be more realistic and reasonable with you.

If it's not really something like that happening, then don't put yourself in that category. One more I want to mention here that comes out of the DSM, which is marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with a traumatic event, beginning or worsening after the traumatic event or events occurred as evidenced by two or more of the following. And the two that specifically apply to Paul, according to Dr. Clark, is hypervigilance and sleep disturbance. Makes sense.

Sleep disturbance would be difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep. Yeah. Now, as I mentioned, Paul talks about this in his letter to the Corinthians, the second one more specifically. In this letter, we come across what's known as the hardship catalog or catalogs five times. For those of you who are not aware, what is that? That's known as the peristalsis catalog.

In ancient times, especially Hellenistic philosophical literature, Hellenistic means Greek time, writings by philosophers. What would have a list of hardships that they went through in life? I was shipwrecked. I was abandoned by friends. I had to go hungry or I lived in poverty.

Those are the hardship catalogs. But they would always come back with, but I am stronger than ever. But I survived.

But I found meaning and purpose in life. Paul also gives us five of these peristalsis catalogs. Very interesting, because if you don't understand this rhetorical device called peristalsis or literary device, really, called peristalsis catalogs, you're going to overlook that. You'll just think Paul is just going on and on about something that he went through. Well, I think that's a great point. That's a great point.

That's exactly what I was thinking, because when you said that about the Hellenistic literature, it's very common to see that even today. If you go on TikTok, it's just so many dudes just being like, listen, I used to be where you are. I used to be broke. And I was skinny.

I didn't have no muscles. And girls wouldn't talk to me. But look at me now. I got cars. I got money.

I got women. And so you can do it, too. But it's completely missing the point of what Paul's trying to get across. And the Hellenistic philosophers, not all of them.

Some of them would do this only to brag about themselves. But Paul does it, and he does it five times. And just for the benefit of our listeners, I want to quickly go over them. First one is in 2 Corinthians 4, verse 7. He says, but we have this treasure in earthen vessels. Now, think about that. Earthen vessels.

What does that mean? When you think of something made out of pottery. Yeah, or almost made out of dirt. Yeah. And they are easily broken. Very fragile.

Yeah. Isn't that interesting that PTSD victims often refer to themselves as broken? As broken, yeah. Yeah, they're shattered.

They're broken. Yeah. Image goods. Yeah, yeah. So when we read that and we just think, oh, we have this treasure in earthen vessels.

I'm made out of the earth. That's not how Paul is intending this. Yeah. He has the idea of being breakable.

Right. Yeah, it's not a holistic thing. It's that we're fragile.

Yeah, fragile. That's a good point. The emphasis is on the earthen part before it's on the treasure. But anyways, then he goes on and says in verse 8, we are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed. Perplexed, but not in despair.

Persecuted, but not forsaken. Now, another thing I want to point out to you, Paul is employing a sense of humor here. It's kind of hard for us Westerners, or even though I'm from the East, it's hard to really appreciate that, but it's almost like he is saying, man, we were like pressed on every side, but it didn't get crushed. It just didn't crush all the way. Oh, like they couldn't do it. I see, I see. We were perplexed, but not in despair.

Very confused, but didn't give up yet. Struck down, but not destroyed. Struck down.

I mean, think about it. Somebody slapped you down, punched you down. Threw rocks at you till you're down, but not destroyed.

Still had a little life left in me. See, that's the way we were chuckling. Yeah. That's what he expected his audience to do. Got you.

Now, I want you to remember that, because that humor is important when you're going through PTSD. Yeah. That was a good point. All right.

Here's the second one. And then he changes the direction there in verse 10. This is 2 Corinthians 4, 10.

Always caring about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. So, contrary to those Hellenistic philosophers, Paul brags on Jesus. That's right.

He puts the boast where it's supposed to be. Yes. The second hardship catalog, and I encourage our listeners, viewers to kind of look at it on their own, but it's in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 4. All five are in 2 Corinthians, right? Yes. Yes. It said, but in all things, we commend ourselves as ministers of God in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes. Paul was whipped. Oh, yeah. And then if you notice in verse 6, verse 5, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors.

What's the next one? In sleeplessness. Yeah. Paul had insomnia.

Yeah, he couldn't sleep. The third one is in 2 Corinthians 11, 21. To our shame, he goes on and discusses all the things that he is. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I.

Three, are they ministers of Christ? I speak as a fool. I am more. In labors, more abundant. In stripes above measure. In prisons, more frequently.

In debts, often. From the Jews, five times I received 40 stripes minus one. Five times being whipped, 39 lashes. One lash is enough.

It hurts me just to think about that. 39 times five. I want to see how many that is. That's 195 lashes. Yeah. Not at one time, but of course you get it.

Still. Three times I was beaten with rods. You know, have you ever been beaten with a rod? That's not fun.

I was lucky to get a flyswatter. I thought I was hard up for that. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. A night and a day I have been in the deep.

Yeah, people gloss over that. A night and a day I have been in the deep. He was like floating on wreckage. For like a day and a half. Yeah, that's like not just 24 hours, but like almost 24 times 12. 36 hours. That's not on an island.

Yeah, no. Then he says in verse 30, If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity, that God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not. And on and on he goes. Fourth hardship catalog is the one we discussed last time, about the thorn in the flesh. Fifth one is in 2 Corinthians 12, 10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecution, in distresses. For Christ's sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Beautiful. So the whole point is this. Five times he gives this, helps us understand that he was truly suffering with PTSD. But he recast his struggle. He showed in each one of those hardship catalogs that he had a close relationship with Christ. That's right. He was involved in his faith community, which is so important.

If you have PTSD or anything like that, be connected with people. Paul had a sense of humor. And then Paul rejected the unhelpful thought patterns of the Greco-Roman culture. And my encouragement to people today, especially the young, don't buy into everything the culture tells you. That's right. That's 100 percent right. They want you to be a victim. It's not to help you. It's to weaken you. And that's never good.

That's right. And I hope that provides hope for someone who's listening and watching today, that even though Paul met these criteria that fall within the realm of PTSD, that he found a way to recast his struggle and found a way to use it to help other people. And our prayer is that through today's episode, you would take steps to do the same. It was helpful for you. Write in and let us know what you got from today's episode. Write in and let us know how we can pray for you.

That's 5-2-5-8-2-5-0-2-8. You can, of course, visit us online at clearviewtodayshow.com. Don't forget, you can partner with us financially on that same website.

Scroll to the bottom, click that donate button, and let us know what's coming from our Clear View Today Show family. John, what's coming up on tomorrow's episode? In all things that we go through in life, we always have to remember that God is with us, right? And of course, there's God's nature. But there's also God's instructions, what He's told us to do, how He's invited us to live our lives alongside Him. I think that those are two different things, right?

God's nature and God's instruction. But as it turns out, they're linked together in the most beautiful way. Dr. Chell's going to talk to us about that a little bit tomorrow. That's right. Make sure you guys are here. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear View Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-08 08:20:36 / 2024-05-08 08:34:47 / 14

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