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My Open Letter to Brittany Maynard

October 12, 2014

Dearest Brittany Maynard,

I am heart-broken through your situation. I have seen your video on Dying With Dignity’s website and although I am not experiencing your pain or facing the loss of my life, nevertheless, I think I can share a bit in your struggle. I am sorry you are going through this.

I have hyperacusis. This affliction makes normal everyday noises very painful. I have said goodbye to visits with friends and family, weddings and funerals, restaurants, and events. Even my own voice is like stabbing daggers in my ears at times. The accompanying 24/7 tinnitus that comes with this can be maddening. I am isolated from sound, yet I have a cacophony in my head. It’s quite a position to be in.

Like yourself, the affliction occurred just after being married. I became a wife on August 24, 2013 and this happened on January 18, 2014. Like yourself, I love to travel. I have said goodbye to that too. I have said goodbye to everything that exists outside the walls of my home. I too have many losses.

Thankfully I love to write and read (which comes in handy for my now needed closed captioning!), however, unfortunately, for half of my life I’ve had repetitive strain injury which limits the extent of what I can do. Inflammation and pain from my fingertips to my elbows have been my constant companion for 21 years.

So why am I writing to you? Certainly it’s not to complain.

Suicide has been an answer to some in my situation. I want to tell you why it’s not an answer for me.

I know there is a God who loves me. A God who created me in His image and granted me life for purpose. His purpose. Even if pain and suffering is a part of it.

Please know I am not standing in judgement over you, I am in tears beside you.

In your video on Dying with Dignity’s website, you said, “The reason to consider life and what’s of value is to make sure you’re not missing out.” I can assure you, by the world’s standards, I am missing out. I can also assure you that the value of our lives is so much greater than our experiences. The value of our life is not found in this world.

My value is found in what my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did for me when He died on the cross. You know when your conscience tells you you’re doing something wrong? That’s the moral code put there by God, letting you know you’re breaking His laws. We all have. But even though I have and will continue to say and do things that offend God, Jesus chose to sacrifice His life so I am forgiven and reconciled with God. He did that for you too. God’s love and mercy is what makes us valuable.

When I die it will be on His timetable and by His method despite my weak moments when I am hoping that day will come sooner rather than later. I’m still getting used to this and it’s not easy. Just as I know your situation is not easy. But when I go to Jesus in my suffering He is always faithful to give me comfort and strength for another day. There are some days when I feel there is more purpose and joy in my life than before the hyperacusis.

When the time comes for God to allow me my last breath, I know I will have eternal life. Are you sure of what happens when you die? In this painful circumstance you are given time to think and pray about it. Many die without expecting it. You have the opportunity to come before the Lord Jesus Christ and ask for forgiveness, live in obedience, and enjoy your remaining days reconciled with your Heavenly Father. You will have assurance of eternal life in heaven. God loves you Brittany Maynard. He “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

Don’t buy into the lie that you are free to murder yourself. Don’t sell yourself short by the world’s standards. You are accountable to God’s standards. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your Heavenly Father who loves you (Psalm 139:14).

In love,

Pamela Couvrette

Our wedding August 2013

Our wedding August 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Interpretive Misuse and Logical Abuse of Matthew 7:1 “Thou Shall Not Judge!”

 

As you may know, Brittany Maynard took her life because of a painful disease. Three weeks before her suicide, I had written an open letter to her, which was mentioned in a CNN article. In response, a few chose to leave comments on this blog in support of Brittany and her cause, which is fine, as we are all entitled to our opinions. Since my audience is mainly Christian, it was interesting to get some non-Christian perspectives. However, a theme that reoccurred in these comments is also often found within the Christian community–the misuse of Matthew 7:1–both in its interpretation and the illogical use. Many people believe that this verse states that we are not to be critical, or that we are not to judge the opinions of others.

Matthew 7:1 – The Correct Interpretation

One commenter who accused me of judging wrote the following: “You’re essentially saying ‘I wouldn’t do what you’re doing, because I have faith in Jesus’, and then go on to accuse her [Brittany Maynard] of selling herself short and buying into lies. That’s a judgment.”

Yes, that’s a judgment. So is “I love rain”.

Is it the sort of judgment mentioned in Matthew 7:1? No.

Let’s look at that verse:

Judge not, that you be not judged.

Seems simple enough; let’s continue to verse 2:

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

That also seems straightforward. Let’s read verses 3 and 4:

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, when there is the log in your own eye?

Let’s stop here and unpack all this.

Jesus is addressing the religious influencers of that time, the scribes and Pharisees, who were judging the hearts of men and pronouncing final judgments on them.

In response to this, Jesus told them not to stop judging, but how to judge. He told them not to judge hypocritically or with wrong motives, and that they should deal with their sin issues first; and then help a brother or sister with their sin issues. We see this in verse 5:

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

It is clear that we are to judge with the right motives and in love.

Let’s take a brief look at the remaining contents of this chapter. Included are:

  •  two gates – one leading to destruction and one leading to life
  •  false and true teaching
  •  the true way into the Kingdom

This tells us that further judging is needed–how else are we to distinguish between the opposites that are mentioned above?

Additional Scriptures support the call to judge between right and wrong: John 7:241 Corinthians 2:14-161 Thessalonians 5:21Romans 16:17John 4:1; etc.

Now that we know what kind of judging is wrong and what kind is biblically correct, let’s look at how this verse is further twisted and misinterpreted by many.

The Illogical Use of Matthew 7:1 – “Let Me Take a Moment and Judge You While I Tell You to Stop Judging”

I can hardly fault those outside the faith who do not study the Bible and who then go on to misinterpret Scripture; however, I can find error in the logical use of this verse. Due to the way that some commenters define judging–that I am judging simply because I voiced an opinion–they are “guilty” too of judging by telling me of their differing opinions.

Isn’t that like calling out a cheating card player, while you have an ace up your sleeve?

Or rather, isn’t this type of reasoning the hypocritical judging that Jesus told us not to do?

Friends, we are commanded to discern between right and wrong–so go on and continue to judge–biblically.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

2 Comments

Weekender

Christian articles found around the internet this week

Christian articles found around the internet this week

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Superheroes, Heresies and the God-man

How Christians Will Know They Can Join Hands With Rome

The Most Underwhelmingly Astounding Fact

Common Interpretive Pitfalls – John MacArthur

Sola Sisters: A Caution About Alternative/Naturopathic/Holistic Treaments

7 Marks of a Deeply Deadly Sin

Don’t Put God In a Box

Randy Alcorn on Suffering

Brittany Maynard No Longer Has Set Date To Die

How to Read Both Sides of the Bible – John MacArthur

sentencing

Enjoy your weekend,

Pamela Couvrette

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