Who among us has been wounded at some time in our life, with a careless word, an action that strikes to the very core of our being? Sometimes wounds come from a verbal attack while at other times it is the non-verbal, the icy stare, the half smile and hand shake that feels like a kiss from Judas himself.
We expected to be wounded from those outside the church, but as most of us have experienced, the deepest wounds come from “friendly fire.” This is a misnomer in this case because most wounds experienced in the church are anything but friendly.
I, like most of us in ministry, have the scars of ministry wounds. I can still hear the words of a deacon in the first church I pastored, who stood up in a business meeting and declared, “Preacher, the problem with you is you don’t have enough stripes on your back and it is up to us to put some on you.” And they proceeded to do so; I was 25 years old at the time. After 37 years in ministry, there are many others I could share.
As I look back at the wounds, some deserved and others not, I understand how God has used all those wounds to help make me who I am today. Self-examination is very painful. As I sit here examining my spirit, I am so thankful the wounds of God’s people have healed to form scars. Scars can be a reminder of the painful experience and the sting of betrayal, or scars can be the needed reminder of how God worked and moved, not always to my liking but always for my good.
When wounded by God’s people, it hurts and it hurts deeply. The healing that is necessary to grow through the hurt is often even more painful. But the healing of a wounded heart is so worth the effort. Stop listening to the voices of the past and reliving the hurtful experiences and start focusing on what “is” not what “was.”
I highly recommend Wounded by God’s People by Anne Graham Lotz as a resource to promote this healing.