The Spirit of a Man will sustain his infirmity but a Wounded Spirit (HEART), Who Can Bear? Proverbs 18:14
We are going to unpack and unpeel what true healing really is. To unpack means to open up and reveal the contents of or to analyze the nature of something by examining it in detail. To unpeel something is to remove the outer covering or to strip something off. We will unpack and unpeel what it means to really heal. The scripture text above reveals to us that it is easier to suffer with a physical infirmity than to attempt to deal with a spiritual or emotional wound.
Emotional healing is a topic that no one really wants to talk about but yet we all have at one time or the other suffered from emotional or spiritual wounds. We live in treacherous and crazy times. We cannot escape the senseless violence and the painful, horrific images we see daily on TV. There is no way any human being can escape being touched by some form of physical, emotional, spiritual or psychological pain as long as they are living on this earth. The question is not whether or not we will be wounded, but rather how do we handle the wounds when they come? How can we deal with the wounds that puncture our souls? Do we cover the wounds up with makeshift bandages and hope they go away some day? What happens if we ignore them altogether?
In order to understand the healing process, it is very insightful to look at the way God designed the human body to heal itself when it has suffered a wound. As in the natural, so it is in the realm of the invisible or spiritual. Just because you cannot see your emotions, your soul, or your thoughts with the naked eye, does not mean that it is not just as tangible or real. The same principles for healing of the body apply to the healing of the heart, mind and soul.
According to The FreeDictionary.com, wound healing is defined as the “restoration of integrity to injured tissues by replacement of dead tissue with viable tissue…” We can look at emotional healing as a process in which a person is restored to integrity (wholeness) by first removing the dead stuff (sins — hatred, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, blaming others, unresolved/prolonged grief, sadness, unruly passions and other deadly heart issues) with viable tissue – love, joy, peace, patience, and other Fruits of the Spirit.
Deep physical wounds that are filled with large amounts of dead cells, blood clots and other debris must be cleansed in order for healing to take place. This can be painful because there is more inflammation, soreness and tenderness with deep wounds. Foreign bodies add to the discomfort and can also delay the healing process. For healing of emotional and spiritual wounds to take place, the foreign bodies of guilt, shame, thinking God is mad at you, anger towards God, self and others must be cleaned away. All of these things will delay the process.
From a spiritual standpoint, what happens to people when they endure deep wounds without cleaning them out? Examples of deep wounds would be those caused by 1) Prolonged Exposure to negative, crippling words and abuse as a child; 2) Sexual Immorality; 3) Satanic Attack; 4) Rejection/Abandonment by Spouse or Parent; 4) Bitterness & Unforgiveness ;5) Divorce; 6) Death of Loved One and 7) Physical and/or Sexual Abuse. When a person has a physical wound it is very painful to clean out dead tissue, but it is extremely necessary in order to prevent infection. If this is the case naturally, then it is true spiritually. Our spiritual wounds are cleansed by activating our faith and applying the Word of God through consistent prayer and study. In John 15:3, Jesus states that we are clean because of His spoken Words to us. The power in the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin (1 John 1:7). When we fail to clean out the dead mess, we provide an opening for the adversary, Satan to come in with his minions and bring further infection on top of the original wound. From the physical perspective, a deep wound can quickly develop a surface level scar, but the remaining tissue still healing underneath is very fragile and bleeds easily because it is not yet mature. Spiritually speaking, a person can function like this for years and may think they are healed but underneath the surface, they are very fragile and immature emotionally and spiritually. It would take very little pressure to cause the wound to open all over again. This helps to explain why people who have survived tremendous trauma lash out, become overly sensitive, hard to forgive, very irritable, very angry towards God, engage escapism (addictions), etc. when pressure, trials and tribulations come.
The big, deep wound is still sitting there unhealed on their hearts and covered with a little band-aid. When unrelated issues put pressure on the wound, they bleed all over again and it spills out on all of those around them. Hurting, wounded people will hurt and wound others. They perpetuate the cycle and pass on the dysfunction. They refuse to deal with the wound because they know it will be painful to touch with so they run and avoid the issues. Because wounded people tend to isolate and close themselves off, they have no one to check them, help them, or protect them. They may even go back and do the same stuff that got them wounded to start with because of refusing to clean up and heal deeply. Because of this, they can easily re-injure and re-infect the same wound over and over again.
In the natural, the wound healing process must be carefully assessed and monitored. There are frequent checks for signs of bleeding and infection. Optimal healing takes place when the patient is in a good state nutritionally and has adequate body reserves and resources for tissue regeneration or cell repair. Every nutrient and health habit plays a role in healing the body. Oxygen is needed for the blood supply to the wound. Exercise is needed for adequate circulation. Positioning of the body is important in order to avoid prolonged pressure on the wounded area. The area of the wound must be temporarily immobilized to prevent mechanical injury from direct blows and friction. The patient must receive adequate rest.
The first step in the process of emotional and spiritual repair is salvation also known as repentance or spiritual regeneration. “If any man (or woman) be in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation, old things have passed away and behold all things are made new”. 2 Cor. 5:17 (KJV). At salvation, we transition from spiritual death to becoming spiritually alive through Jesus Christ. In Titus 3:5 (ESV) we learn that “He saved us…by the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit”. The only way for us to walk in true healing is to have a newly regenerated heart and mind through Jesus Christ. This is an ongoing process also known as sanctification.
To heal in a healthy way, we must receive adequate spiritual nutrition. If we were spiritually malnourished or undeveloped prior to becoming wounded, then we will not have enough emotional or spiritual reserves to heal correctly and thus the process will be delayed. Once wounded, it is much more difficult to build up spiritual capacity. Spiritual nutrition is derived directly from the Word of God by studying, listening, praying, praise and worship. The Spirit of the Lord is our oxygen. He is our Breath of Life (Genesis 2: 6-7; John 20: 21-22), the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and He is LIFE Itself (John 14:6). Speaking, praying and renewing our minds is our spiritual exercise which keeps the blood flowing. We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and by the Word of our Testimony (Rev 12:11).
When wounded, we deliberately position ourselves for optimal healing by being connected to the local body of Christ. We cannot heal alone and isolated or else we will be prone to re-injure ourselves because we are unprotected. “And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken”. (Eccl 4:12) We are to not “forsake our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but to encouraging one another” (Heb 10:25). Connection with other believers is protection. We have to learn to open up trust other mature and healthy Christians in order to be healed. We also must receive adequate rest. Jesus said “Come unto me all that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). We have the promise of a special rest for the people of God and we are to strive to enter that rest (Heb 4:11) if we expect the wound to heal correctly.
In this life we are certain that we will be wounded. This is not a negative confession. It is a reality because we live in a fallen world full of fallen, wounded people. But we have a Healer named Jesus Christ. He was bruised for our iniquities, WOUNDED for our transgressions and with His stripes WE ARE HEALED (Isa 53: 4-5). It is high time for us to stop walking around wounded. It is time for us to take off the dirty little bandages that we have been piecing together to cover our bleeding wounds. It is time for us to let Christ clean out the wound for once and for all and deal with it. It is time for us to heal.
See also Unpacking & Unpeeling: The Process of Healing Emotional Wounds – Part 2 http://wp.me/p33WY9-2i
- Ouch! That Hurts! – Healing Our Wounds – Part 1 (reallifeministriesusa.com)
- List of Spiritual Injuries (churchabuse.wordpress.com)
- Trauma Recovery and How it Works (casapalmera.com)
- Time doesn’t heal all wounds – the first two fundamental factors to healing (westcoastword.wordpress.com)