Your Wounds Don't Need to Define You
Words and actions are powerful. They can build people up or tear them down. They can pour out love, or breed hate. They can establish trust or destroy it. They can heal deep wounds, or they can create them.
At some point in our life, most of us have been hurt by the words and actions of others. That emotional pain creates a heavy burden that we seem forced to carry with us. The mean words and painful realities torment the mind. The injuries feel inescapable as the scars daily remind us of what was said or done.
Is it possible to heal and forgive those who hurt you? And if so, where can help be found?
Help is found in Jesus Christ. He understands your hurts (Hebrews 4:15) and He has freely offered to help heal your emotional wounds (Matthew 11:28). It does not matter how deep they are or how long they have been in your life — He is able to help you.
Jesus Christ is much more than a religious figure — He is Creator God (John 1:1-3) and as Creator, He knows how you feel (Psalm 103:14). Because He designed your body, soul, and spirit, He knows how to fix you when you are broken! Come to Him as you would a doctor: Show Him your emotional wounds and allow Him to prescribe His healing medicine. Don’t continue another day allowing your hurts to define you.
EMOTIONAL HURTS WILL LIE TO YOU
Bitterness and guilt are two of the heaviest burdens that hurtful words and cruel actions will put on your heart. These emotions will alter your view of yourself and others. Bitterness will convince you that every hurtful comment is true, and guilt will persuade you to blame yourself for the wrongs others have done. Both will keep you chained to the pain and over time, this distorted thinking will spread like a cancer and affect every area of your life. When you view yourself and others through the lens of your hurts, you will always see yourself as a victim.
Jesus does not what you to live as a victim; He desires that you be “more than conquerors through him.” That means you need Jesus to heal the wounds of SIN! That’s right, the reason people hurt you and the reason you allow those hurts to define you is because of sin. No one is perfect (“all have sinned”) and as long as you live on this earth, there is no avoiding the fact that people will hurt you. But if you look to Jesus for help, those hurts don’t have to define you.
Becoming a conqueror over sin and the hurts of sin begins with you confessing your own sin and trusting in Jesus as your Saviour. Remember, “there is none good, no not one.” You’ve spoken hurtful words to others; you’ve treated others in a way that is wrong; you’re guilty of breaking God’s holy law. That means you’re not only a victim, but a victimizer. Don’t allow your emotional hurts to lie to you — you are not innocent yourself.
Healing begins first on a spiritual level. Confess your sin to God, believe the Gospel (the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus), and trust in the saving power of Jesus. When you chose to do this, the Bible promises that God forgives of all your sins (Acts 26:18), welcomes you into His family (Galatians 4:4-5), and assures you of His healing help (Hebrews 13:5-6).
Living as a victim only makes you emotionally weak; but living as a conqueror THROUGH Jesus Christ will make you emotionally stronger.
“In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” Psalms 56:4
Life is painful, people are cruel, but if you have a relationship with Jesus, you can bring every hurt to Him; knowing that He feels, He understands and He has the power to help. After all, when He died on the cross of Calvary, He not only paid the price for your sins, but He carried your hurts: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:” Isaiah 53:4
LEAVE THE ROCKS ALONE
Hurtful words and cruel behavior are like flying rocks: You don’t know when they will be thrown your way nor can you control how hard they hit you. Maybe you’ve been caught by surprise at the unkind words someone spoke or shocked at how someone you trusted so easily betrayed you. Most people don’t walk around looking for flying rocks and that is why they are deeply wounded when they hit. If they saw it coming, they could protect or defend themselves.
“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.” Psalm 55:12-13
You may not have chosen to be hit with a rock, but it is your choice on whether to pick it up and throw it back at the person or carry it around like a souvenir.
At times, throwing it back or carrying it around seems like the right thing to do because it creates a sense of justified anger: “I’m angry and I have a good reason to be upset. Look at what they did to me.” But anger accomplishes nothing; it only weighs your heart down with the heavy burden of bitterness and guilt.
The rocks are real and each one represents a deep wound, but leave them on the ground. Picking them up will only hurt you more. Instead, run to Jesus for help and healing. He will mend the wounds and encourage you to not retaliate in anger or carry around the rocks. Listen to the counsel of Philippians 4:6: “Be careful [anxious, angry, bitter] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
THE PROCESS OF HEALING
Like physical wounds, emotional wounds take time heal. Some of them will take a few days while others will need months or even years of regular care. Don’t be discouraged at the length of the healing process. Different emotional hurts require different methods of treatment. For example:
Healing from a divorce will look different than recovering from a co-worker’s betrayal.
Overcoming the damage of hurtful gossip might take longer than recovering from being unjustly fired from your job.
Rebounding from a friend’s unkind words might require less time than healing from the painful words spoken by your son or daughter.
If you are trusting in Jesus to heal you and help you, then follow the Doctor’s instructions — He knows what He is doing!
Time does not heal all wounds; what you do with your time heals the wounds!
If your hurts are defining you and controlling you, then you need God’s help to emotionally heal and to move on to a joyous life. Here is God’s way to heal the deep wounds within:
CHOOSE TO GET HELP. Life is made up of choices and you have a choice to make: Do I hold in my hurts and just complain about them? Do I run to things that will (temporarily) distract me from my pain, like alcohol grog, drugs, pornography? Do I seek to ease my pain by seeking revenge? Or do I ask God for help? Only you can choose which action to take.
Jesus invites you to receive His help, but you must willingly accept it: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:6-7
RELEASE YOUR RIGHTS FOR THE REMEDY. Your pride is the main reason for your pain. Yes, the mean words hurt your feelings and yes, the disrespectful behavior wounded your heart, but your emotional hurts are largely the result of you not wanting to release the offense or the offender. Pride wants to be a victim of the hurts; humility wants to be a victor over hurts.
For wounds to properly heal, they must be thoroughly cleaned and bandaged. Allow God to cleanse out the anger and bitterness that threatens to infect your heart and take His medicine of mercy so that you can forgive those who have wounded you.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
Emotional healing is possible because all things are possible with God. Stop listening to the lies! Drop the rocks and follow God’s healing prescription.