Heart wounds flow like a river through this world. Despair rises when hope for healing feels foolish. Slashing words, lies, even physical violence cut into our souls and sometimes pierce our spirit. Every day there is a sad truth revealed: hurt people hurt people. Every Christian possesses the power to stop the tidal wave of pain, to rise victorious. Delivered from the power of sin by the blood of Christ, we still experience the presence of sin: That is a hallelujah truth! The presence of sin is our opportunity to be vessels of healing!
What will you do with the wounds you receive…with the wounds you see in others?
Will you be one who heals or one who passes your wounds on to others?
We can only give to others that which we possess ourselves. To be one who brings healing to others, you must be one who knows the blessing of healing. A ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ mentality permeates those of us raised with good Puritan work ethics. There are great aspects to those ethics but they are incomplete. Burying the wounds of life beneath callous attitudes or do-it-yourself plans may get you through your day—but it is not the abundant, holy living God intends. In fact, those attitudes deliver wounds to others.
Christ came to do the will of the Father; that will is for us to be wholly holy. (Hebrews 10:9-10) Being set free from sin is more than a ticket for heaven; Paul said the benefit of the freedom is holiness. Complete freedom involves healing the wounds of life. We must receive full healing before we can be the healers this world so desperately needs. While we accept forgiveness for the sins we do—realizing we cannot be perfect, we often refuse to see the sins of others as ones for which Christ also paid the debt. Allowing the blood of Christ to cover those sins that cut us like daggers is the key to wholeness.
The Good Samaritan can help us grasp the beautiful picture of full healing. We want to be the Good Samaritan, and that is good. But we must recognize that we are also the wounded man needing healing. The Samaritan applied oil and wine to the wounds of the hurting man on the roadside. Every hurt of life needs both the oil of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of the blood. Otherwise the wounds will fester below the surface, infecting all of life with their contagion. Without receiving healing for our wounds, we wound others and fall short of the abundant life Christ died to give us.
So, how do we receive that healing?
We embrace forgiveness as a gift for our sins and the sins of others.
We allow the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to use the Word as a scalpel and remove the calloused, dead flesh of our hearts. Only soft hearts can accept forgiveness. Then the Spirit and the Blood work together to free us from a life of striving self-sufficiency. Their work also allows us to drop the demands we place on others. Together the Spirit and the Blood free us to live the abundant life Christ died to provide. Our freedom becomes the gift we share with others, freeing them to live in Christ. The river of wounding ends when forgiveness flows.
What wounds from life do you need to forgive?
Would you tell us how we could pray with you for the work of the Spirit and the healing of the blood?