In reviewing the symptoms, personality traits and impairments of BPD, a person might think, “I wouldn’t want anything to do with such people!” They might even be regarded as evil. That’s why those who live with it are stigmatized to such a great extent. Even some medical professionals turn them away. They are avoided, ending up with few friends and low self-esteem. It’s tragic when people are thought to be at fault for their illnesses.

BPD needs to be looked at as the illness it is – an illness like others, though different. The person who suffers from it can’t be blamed. There are multiple factors that might have caused it, factors over which she had no control. Many – as I found in my case – are rooted in difficult childhoods.

Mental health professionals agree that those who have a stressful childhood are at greater risk of developing BPD. Sources of stress include abuse, neglect, parental divorce, separation from a parent or caregiver, mental disorders in a caregiver, parent, or sibling, or general conflict, fighting, and instability in the family.

Is it right to avoid a person with such a background? Is it right to blame a person for her illness or for what occurred in her life?

I believe such a person needs understanding and care. We need to show her the healing love of Christ.

 

“WHO SINNED?”

I was reminded of the disciples’ question for Jesus when he was about to heal a man blind from birth, “Who sinned?”

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

John 9:1-3

The Jews of the day believed that sickness was caused by either the sin of the sick person, or of his relations. They believed sickness or disability was punishment for that sin. In the way they were thought to be a cause for shame two thousand years ago, many in this modern world consider BPD a cause of shame. Listen to what Jesus had to say about that:

Jesus said it was not sin that caused his blindness. No, it was quite the opposite. “…this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” What I hear Jesus saying is that the man’s life with blindness would display God’s mercy and power – more so than if he’d never been blind.

This story could apply to those living with BPD as well, and all of us who deal with life struggles. Maybe God had a reason for having it happen. Maybe it’s “…so that the works of God might be displayed” in us.

 

To go to the first post of this series click http://marjabergen.com/archives/a-plea-to-the-church-living-with-borderling

For all posts in this series on BPD for Churches please click here.