How to Deal With a Pain in the Neck

I am dealing with a HUGE pain in the neck right now. And I’m not talking about that kid in first period who never listens to a word I say. I mean a literal pain in the neck….I have a pinched nerve. It hurts.

But I have noticed something: the pain is worse when I’m thinking about it. When I’m sitting at home, icing it, medicating it, massaging it, it hurts MORE. When I’m at school, teaching, talking, grading, not being listened to, it hurts LESS.

The pain is still there, at home and at school. The difference?


Specifically – my mind. When my mind is occupied on something other than the pain, it seems less awful.

This, I have found, is true of the metaphorical pains in the neck, too. When troubles come – and they come to us all! – we have to make a choice. Will we focus all our energy on that “pain”? Or will focus on something else?

Pain-in-the-neck situations and people can sometimes mess me up far more than any physical pain can. I can stew in anger, dwell on hurts or offenses, plan ways to “pay them back”. This, of course, serves no purpose other than to make the pain even more aggravating.

What I need to do is to occupy my mind on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable…” (Phil. 4:8). Focusing on those things will bring more than distraction – they bring freedom!

So the cure to a pain in the neck? A change in the mind.

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