Think of a precious child. Maybe it’s your grandchild, a friend’s little boy, the little girl you teach at Sunday school who God leads you to lavish extra love on. Now picture someone screaming “You’ll never amount to anything!” “I wish you had never been born!” “You’re worthless!” into their innocent little heart. It’s unimaginable that people could hurt a child in such a way. Unfortunately, it happens every day in homes across America. And the wounds in the heart of that little child can last a lifetime. Maybe that child was you long ago.
Often because all the child knows is abuse they will be drawn to people in adulthood who will abuse them much in the same way where control is at the forefront of the abuse. Angry threats like “If you leave me, I’ll kill you!” Or, “You and the kids won’t get a dime from me.” Both are examples of verbal and emotional abuse and are controlling tactics in abusive relationships
Abuse can also happen without a spoken word – it can be degrading looks, threatening stares, aggressive body language or other threatening behaviors. These actions are meant to inflict fear with great success leaving the person who is on the receiving end with emotional pain that stunts emotional growth.
In some circles even Christian ones people don’t want to talk about emotions and when they are discussed the importance of emotional health and wholeness is minimized. Yet, we know that with deeply wounded people negative emotions are at the center of thinking, feeling actions, and poor choices.
Emotional abuse attacks at the core of a person’s value, crushing their confidence, and chips away at their self-worth, breaking their spirit in the process. God’s word says “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries us the bones. “(Proverbs 17:22)
Stop the cycle. Seek help. God takes broken things and makes them whole. Run to the Balm of Gilead. Jesus is the balm who can heal the wounds of God’s children.
We are told in scripture to let go of the past and reach forward to what’s ahead. But what if we can’t?
Some of us have been so wounded that we are crippled emotionally, and the past continues to affect every area of our lives. So, instead of running the Christian race with endurance, we limp and struggle along the way often overcome with self-loathing, guilt and shame for not ‘getting it’ like other Christians.
Some mask their wounds with out of control negative behaviors, others by staying busy “being good’ so as not to deal with the pain.
Neither has ever fully accepted the love and grace of God. Only when the wounds of our hearts are deal with that we can truly put the past behind us, and are able to run the race with endurance and assurance of God’s calling and purpose for our life.
“Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run the race with endurance that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith “Hebrews 12:1-2
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Cor. 1:4
It is in our greatest struggles and pain that we encounter The Comforter – Our Jesus in the deepest intimate way. And we emerge on the other side with a heart of compassion for those who face the same hurts and struggles.
Our God not only heals and restores our broken hearts and lives, but He is faithful to turn our pain into a ministry of compassion to reach the hurting so we can comfort others as we have been comforted.
He truly gives us beauty for ashes.
Jesus asked one question to the lame man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5:6 “Do you want to be made well?” This is the pivotal question for every person seeking healing for emotional wounds. The simple truth is that not everyone wants to be made well. They may start off eager with the best intentions, feeling that they cannot go on another day, but at the end of the day, do not want to be made well, and those who do not want to get well are not going to get well.
Why would I not want to walk in the freedom from the bondage that Christ set me free from? F-E-A-R! Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of what may be uprooted and exposed, fear of pain, fear that we may have to give up (someone or something); Or we may not be desperate enough yet.
Perhaps we have grown comfortable in our dysfunction and are comfortable in a victim role. We may not have reached a breaking point yet where we face losing someone we love, such as a spouse, or a relationship, maybe even a job, our freedom, and in our minds – we tell ourselves as bad as our current situation is – “it’s not as bad as so and so’s”, or at least we know how to respond, or how to continue to do life and even serve in ministry. However, we are putting on the painted smile while living in a prison of emotional pain. But make no mistake -It is never God’s fault. If we do not want to embark on the journey and “be made well” – we won’t get well. Healing is a choice.
If you are in a place where you are desperate enough to get help and want to be made well, then I pray that nothing will hinder you from getting the healing that you need and will encounter the Healer in a deep and intimate way.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
Love is the bond of perfection.” Colossian 3:14
It is absolutely true that hurting people hurt people. Don’t be quick to judge the behavior on the surface and not see the need below.
When children feel unwanted, unheard, not valuable, incapable, powerless, or hurt, they often lash out. Parents love your children well.
The lack of love will damage a child emotionally and will have consequences throughout their lives affecting their own children. Stop the generational sins.
You cannot do it alone. Put on God’s love. His love is perfect. It leads towholeness. Jesus makes broken things new.
We can’t change people’s hearts. But God can! Where there is relationship conflict, we must remember that people react by the way they have learned to deal with matters of the heart, and it might not even be rooted in truth.
There are three sides to the story, but only one is accurate – God’s perspective. We are only responsible for our junk. We must ask God to show us our part – confess, repent and ask for forgiveness where applicable and give the rest to Him.
Don’t hold on to things and demand that people see things your way because it may be skewed by your own unhealthy life experiences. Keep your own side of the street clean. If you can change it, change it. If you can’t release it!
Do you still feel this person owes you? Are you expecting them to pay you back for the hurt they cost? Do you feel bitter, angry and resentful towards them? Do you think they should suffer for what they did? Do you want revenge? If you answer yes to any of these, then you have not forgiven in your heart.
Holding on to unforgiveness will pollute your heart and allow their sin to continue to hurt you. Choosing to forgive does not condone their sin. It doesn’t mean there should be no justice. There are consequences to sin, but only God is the righteous judge.
Release the offender to Him and refuse to harbor negative feelings towards those who have hurt you. If you don’t know how to forgive, seek Jesus. He is faithful to put people in our lives that will help us process the hurts so that we can grieve, accept and release them to the feet of the cross so we can forgive from the heart. That’s true freedom.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:23
God’s word gives us the formula for relationships. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Many of us because of our past don’t even know what authentic love looks like. It’s never been modeled to us the right way so we can’t love ourselves much less others. And No being self-absorbed is not love it’s quite the opposite.
There may be things in your heart hindering your ability to love God, self and others. 1 John 4:19 says we love God because he first loved us. Run to the source of authentic love. Let him heal and saturate you with His love.
Once you experience the fullness of His love unhindered by the lies of the past you will love Jesus in the depth of your heart and know in your soul how precious and valuable you are in His sight and are worth loving. Then you can love radically. Because His love is radical! Get to the root!