Healing From Self-Inflicted Wounds
I know you are aware that many of us are hurting in one or more areas in our lives. It could be emotionally, mentally, relationally, financially or even spiritually. However, did you know that the majority of our hurt is caused by what I will call self-inflicted wounds?
Not understanding this fact is what prevents many of us from experiencing healing. We long for it, we crave it and yes we’re even desperate for it. But our lack of understanding has kept us “destroyed”. (Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”)
Well, No More! I want to empower you with the proper knowledge so you can indeed experience healing.
How do I know that most of our wounds are self-inflicted? I take my understanding from 1-Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Notice the last phrase in that particular scripture “pierced themselves through”. That says it all!
Some will say that this scripture only applies to money, however, there is a basic principle buried in the scripture and hence why the Bible tells us we must study (dig in, learn and discover) (2-Timothy 2:15).
In this case, we are told directly that the love of money is what drove the individual to pierce themselves through or cause themselves harm. We must understand that love is the motivating factor or the thing that caused the individual to pursue what they desired. The thing desired, in this scripture, is money and it is the passion for it that has driven them to the point of forsaking other things, even to their own detriment.
Now, we can see that it is love that motivates, but when we have love for improper things or better yet when our love is misplaced, it causes us to inflict pain and unfortunately we ourselves are typically the recipients of that pain.
What do I mean? Well, let’s think about this; when we have an out of proportion love of self, we damage relationships through our words or actions. When we have a misplaced love of men’s praise and adoration, we end up with distorted thinking and then when we are criticized we end up with hurt feelings and emotions. When we prize or love being the social butterfly, we end up with superficial relationships that leave us empty and with nowhere to turn when we are feeling empty, lonely or hurting. Also, when we love the things of this world more than knowing God, we find again that we are people without substance.
You see love in all these cases is the motivator, but it’s what we do with love or where we place it that matters and if we have misplaced love, we end up wounded and it’s no one’s fault but our own.
For example, when I was younger, my first girlfriend and I had a good relationship but then I let jealousy invade and it ruined our relationship. This was before I knew God and as a young man with many emotional needs, I placed all my love on this person who couldn’t truly supply what I needed. Therefore, it was my jealousy or fear that she would be stolen away by someone else and I would lose her that actually caused me to lose her. It was a self-inflicted pain.
As another example, when I was told numerous times that I wouldn’t amount to anything by my mother and other hurtful things, it took a toll on my self-esteem. Not so much by her words directly but because I recited them to myself over and over. My love of self was misplaced and caused me self-damage because I was buying into the internal messages. When I finally surrendered my love of self to God, I finally started to realize who I was through his eyes and through his love so that it didn’t matter anymore what anyone else said about me.
Now, I’m not saying that others do not cause us any harm, as that would be far from the truth. There are things that others can say or do that can cause us hurt, however, our recovery from those outside hurts are also bound by our reactions to them. If someone belittles us and hurts us with their words, we can stew on them and run them over and over in our minds, reliving the hurt and driving the pain deeper and deeper, all because our love is misplaced.
How do we address it? If we focus on God and love him more than anything else, he will allow his love to be our healer. In scripture we are told that God is love – pure and simple (1-John 4:8), and we are told also that love covers a multitude of sin (1-Peter 4:8). (Note while the King James version uses the word charity, the very word means love and giving combined and in the truest sense you cannot have love without giving.)
Therefore, if we have a love for God and love him more than anything else, when someone hurts us with their words, rather than lashing out at them or even at ourselves, we take it to God in prayer and seek to show love to that person instead, we then learn to forgive and hence their words lose their power.
It does not mean we continue to hang out with that individual, if all they do is attack us, but it means that we learn to forgive and let go so we can move on and receive God’s healing in our lives.
This works in every area of our lives. If we have the proper placement of our love in our lives on God, then it doesn’t matter what happens to us emotionally, mentally, physically, relationally, socially, financially or spiritually because we gain strength and protection from God directly.
It’s time we stop the self-inflicted wounds and learn to forgive ourselves, trust God and love his word! In doing so we can finally allow the healing process to begin and find life is sweeter, fuller and more meaningful!
I want to encourage you that you can indeed learn to love and love appropriately! Start to read God’s word, claim His promises for your life, and receive his unwavering, undeniable love in your heart!