Dealing with Past Hurts

“Above all, guard your heart, for out of it flow the wellsprings of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

I had, for a couple of days, seemed very successful in confronting the devil in my life. Yes, the devil had been operational in my life. I felt he was trying to intimidate me through fear and doubt. So, whenever I felt afraid or unbelieving, I would say, “Fear, go away from me!” or, “Doubt, flee from me!” And it had worked, too – that is, for a couple of days. But I was vulnerable to the devil, and he knew it. That’s because, for many years, I had “undealt-with” sin and judgment in my heart. In other words, I had an emotional time bomb inside of me, which, at any time, the devil could tap into if he wished. And that’s exactly what he did. While everything seemed to be going well on the Thursday and Friday, on the Saturday I began to experience tremendous pressure inside of me. It was a pressure which I ended up taking out on my wife, unfortunately.

But what was really deep down inside was an undealt-with issue from the past. Although this does not excuse the sin of keeping bitterness and unforgiveness inside my heart, as a child, I had been hurt in certain ways. And, although I thought I had gotten “over the issue,” it was still there. Inside of me was a wound – a scar, if you will – from my childhood. I still had not completely “let it go” from my heart. It was binding me, and causing me numerous problems. In fact, the scar – which was caused by my having to give up an object that I longed to keep as youngster – was deeply imbedded within me, and I needed to let go of that pain. God was the One who wanted to take that pain for me and help me “release” it to Him. In fact, Jesus had taken that pain already on the cross, by dying and suffering in my place. But I still needed to go through the process of yielding that pain to Him, and letting Him have it. First of all, that meant acknowledging that it existed. That was really one of the hardest parts of the whole issue of “releasing pain” to God. But I had to acknowledge that it was there.

In the case of someone who has been wounded, an emotional “time bomb”/scar can remain inside of them unless the wound is “offered up” to God — perhaps a person might think of it as offering up a sacrifice to God — the sacrifice of acknowledging that the pain did occur. When a person does this, he does not deny that the pain is there, or that a very bad incident occurred. However, he or she is able to “release that pain” — often simply through communicating one’s feelings to a loving God or even a loving person, sometimes, who, in a very real and legitimate sense, “stands in the place” of God — as God’s ambassador (see 2 Corinthians 5). When a person does this, he or she is then able to successfully “let go” of whatever has been binding them, and preventing them from going forward in life.

The healing process may take some time (years, in some cases of deep emotional wounding). No one is to be condemned for being in the midst of the healing process. We are people who are hurt, and who need a Savior. That is why Jesus came — not to condemn, but to heal the brokenhearted and wounded (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18-19). Until that scar is healed, a lot of complications can occur in a person’s life, because, as it says in the book of Proverbs, out of the heart flows the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). In other words, health — all types of health, that is, including physical, emotional, relational, mental, and spiritual — can be directly affected by the spiritual/emotional conditions of our hearts. I believe that has a lot to do with maintaining a continual heart attitude of love, etc. I feel it has also a lot to do with emotional scars that we carry with us from our past. We need to be free from those scars if we are going to be able to “push forward” with God’s best for our lives. If we have been hurt in the past, let’s ask God bring to light under His spiritual microscope any “heart issues” that need dealing with in each one of us.