At one time or another in this life we all have or will experience someone who has sinned against us and cut us past the muscle straight to the bone. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we would find that many of us have collected many wounds, but these wounds are usually invisible to the naked eye. Big or small these wounds by others have left their mark and may have even left us lame. Quite possibly one of the hardest things to deal with in life is dealing with the aftermath and wounds inflicted on us by others.
It is very hard thing to get past when love was not patient or kind, it dishonored you, it was easily angered, it kept a long list of wrongs, it rejoiced in lies instead of truth, it left you distrusting and doubting that it really truly does exist. If we are not careful our perspective and vision will become clouded by that pain and will leave us unable to see things clearly. We will begin to see everyone as an enemy with ulterior motives out to harm us and that is a false perception. To see be able to change our perception we must learn to deal with the pain we are left with.
Deal with the wounds; do not let them fester. A festering wound causes an infection and that infection can then spread to many other areas. How do you know you have a festering wound? Look at your spiritual fruit; bitterness, anger, fear, un-forgiveness, depression, shame, insecurity and guilt.
According to Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Does that list of spiritual fruit match what is growing in you and your life? The sobering fact is that 1 out of 10 people suffer from depression and suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America. I am not saying that all depression is caused by sins being committed against them by someone else, but I bet there is a large percentage where that is the case and those open wounds need complete and whole healing.
Don’t ignore the wounds or distract yourself to avoid dealing with the emotions that have resulted from those wounds. Distractions are short term fixes not long term. Eventually you will have to face the hurts, wounds and the sins committed against you and the longer you wait the harder it will be.
Don’t just cope, but truly take the time and effort to heal. Often we have survived in the midst of horrific circumstances by developing coping skills. These coping skills may have included avoidance, isolation and/or withdrawal, denial or distraction. We need to acknowledge and pinpoint these coping mechanisms so we can weed them out and relish in our lives instead of just hobbling through them with coping skills.
Know this; it was not your fault. When sins especially horrific sins are committed against us (especially if you were a child) it is easy to blame ourselves, feel ashamed and somehow convince ourselves we were responsible for those offenses committed against us. It is important to get very clear with yourself that you were not responsible for those sins against you. That is why getting before God, staying in His word and seeking out prayer for your healing is absolutely necessary to fully recover from the pain inflicted upon you. By seeking out God He is able to clarify that it was never your fault and release you from that guilt and shame.
“The person who labors under a false sense of guilt and shame because of the sins of other against her needs more than affirmation and boosts to her self-esteem. She needs to see that the cross clarifies that she is responsible only for her own sins, not the sins of others that have so deeply wounded her. God’s view of sin lifts her shame and self-loathing by giving her an identity that is rooted in Christ, not in the evil she has experienced.”-Timothy S. Lane
Use your wounds to propel you forward instead of allowing them to keep you stuck. Our past pain can be used as a road-map to help so many others we come in contact with going through similar painful situations and to see that victory is possible.
If we dwell too long on our pain, reliving our hurts we become slaves to that pain. We create a personal prison and inside that prison we are unable to see a way out. We will become victims instead of victors.
God can turn us from victims to victors in any situation, but we must be pursuing Him wholeheartedly. When we do, we can rest assured He will turn our hurts from detrimental to beneficial and for His glory.
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”-Jeremiah 29:12-14 (ESV)