Tag Archives: forgiveness

From Wounds to Scars

Most of us collect scars as we go through life. Those of us who are older have quite an extensive collection! Each scar has a history, and we can usually recall the circumstances under which we acquired each one. Scars are seen as ugly, especially major ones, but actually they’re symbols of victory, that we’ve survived the accident or the surgery!

Scars are left over from a wound. Sometimes scars can be sensitive to the touch, even uncomfortable, but they don’t hurt like the wound did!

If we keep picking away at a wound it will stay a wound much longer than it has to. Our bodies have been designed to heal wounds so they’re nothing more than a scar. We just need to allow the process to happen and help it along by properly tending to the wound.

Emotional wounds need to be treated in the same way. We’re all emotionally wounded in one way or another at one time or another, some of us more, some of us less. The good news is that the Creator/Sustainer who designed our bodies to heal from a wound to nothing more than a scar has the same intentions for our emotional wounds. He’s the great Healer of these too!

Usually we can’t help that we’ve been wounded by someone, but we can help the wound heal into nothing more than a scar! How do we deal with a wound so it heals into nothing more than a scar? Well, to start off, by asking the Great Physician (God/Jesus) to work with our injury and to heal it. We then can cooperate with Him by letting the past go, forgiving the person who wounded us, giving up the right to get revenge, moving on, and identifying ways the wound of the past can make us a better person today. All of this, too, God will help with if we but ask Him.

Then we need to decide that we will no longer see the wounds from the past as wounds but only as scars. They’re still visible and may even be sensitive, but they’re no longer bleeding, infected wounds, only scars.

Scars aren’t bad. There will even be scars in heaven, but only one person will have them, Jesus. He will still bear the scars of crucifixion on His hands, feet, and side as an eternal reminder to all of us in heaven of the price He paid so we could be there with Him.

Scars can be good. Scars we can live with; they’re a reminder that, by the grace of God, we’re a survivor!

The Psalmist says of God, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

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Thought for Reflection

Oh, What a Relief It Is!

When our son Dan was still called Danny, he would do something wrong and then deny it. He’d be angry, or at least sullen, or cool and distant. The best way to get through to him at such times was for me to bend down on a knee and in a soft, loving voice make it clear to him that forgiveness was available, if he would just ‘fess up to the “crime” and say that he was sorry.

When he did, there were sometimes tears but there was almost always a tremendous sense of relief on his part and he became a very happy little boy.

That’s what confession and forgiveness did for him and it’s something like the experience God wants us to have with Him. The stories and teachings of the Bible reveal that honest-to-God confession leads to a dynamic, vibrant relationship with God. Two of God’s amazing attributes are His grace and mercy, both of which can only be experienced when we realize our need for them, and express that need through confession.

The amazing experience of God’s forgiveness is the direct result of our confession. I know it seems strange to say, but confession is really a very positive experience! As an old commercial for Alka-Seltzer stated, “Oh, what a relief it is!”

“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” (Psalm 32:1)

The Cross and Forgiveness

I just finished reading the book Living the Cross Centered Life by C. J. Mahaney. I wanted to share a brief excerpt from his book.

Because of sin, relational conflict is inevitable. You’ll sin against others. They’ll sin against you. You’ll need to forbear with others. You’ll need to forgive.

Your relationship with others must be based on your relationship to God through the cross…‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’

When I become bitter or unforgiving toward others, I’m assuming that the sins of others are more serious than my sins against God. The cross transforms my perspective… When we understand how much God has forgiven us, it’s not difficult to forgive others.” (p.123)

A PHOTOVOTIONAL: “The Old Rugged Cross”

On the land where our church’s future building is to be located we have a large wooden cross. It has been there for a decade and has taken quite a beating. Look closely and you’ll see the wood is weathered and the large nails (railroad spikes) are rusted. Birds use the cross as a perch and have stained it with their droppings. It has been used for target practice by those wielding paintball guns.

Look carefully in the upper right hand corner of the image. A vulture circles overhead!

Graffiti mars the cross with the word “DIE” sprayed on the side. The second image gives you a close-up of the graffiti. I doubt the vandals realized how theologically correct they were!

Jesus’ cross was no great work of art, just a utilitarian tool of execution. It bore the stain of His own blood, sweat, and tears. If sin could cause a physical stain on wood, then the cross of Christ would have been stained beyond measure by the sins of humanity that Christ bore while hanging on it.

Our cross on the land is certainly an old rugged cross and I’ve thought about having it cleaned up, but I’m thinking it’s more appropriate to leave it the way it is. Certainly this cross, with all of the abuse it’s taken, communicates the message of Christ’s cross better than any gilded cross ever could.

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:15)