Pain clouds our perception of reality and hinders us from living the life God intends. A skewed perception causes us to react in ways disproportional to the situation. This gap keeps us from living a fulfilled life, because it hides the true nature of life from us. We define ourselves not by our true identities, but from our pain, insecurities, and assumptions. We become deaf and blind to the true intent of a person, because we have prejudged their actions or words based on our past. This gap can widen to a chasm. Satan exploits our false outlook and uses it as a weapon against us. Spying this opportunity, he lurks through our lives throwing out traps and enticements. Waiting in the shadows with his master understanding of the human condition, he builds a case. Whispering lie upon lie, he enters our mind. He convinces us that most people are out to get us. They are out to hurt us just like that person in our past. Hence why, the simplest comment can trigger a memory within us that sends us back to a teenage locker-room. A single word can take us back to an abusive childhood. The ridicule, abuse, and mistreatment experienced in a memory can paralyze us. It strips us of our defenses and leaves us exposed and vulnerable once again. Fighting tenaciously against that place, we lash out in anger against the person who made the comment. We attack them out of fear and anger associated with a past memory. Our feelings of anger, hurt, bitterness, and pain may very well be justified. Many of us experience deep hurt in our lives.
This hurt may have come from an unmet expectation, from lies, abuse, broken agreements, back-stabbings, or simply from a miscommunication; however, we cannot leave the pain unattended. Wounds will become infected if left untreated. Jesus, the master physician, enters the picture and waits at the door of your heart. He longs to help you overcome your hurt and pain. He wants to wrap you in his steadfast love. He desires you to be free, and freedom in this situation only comes from forgiveness. Forgiveness of the one who wronged or hurt us is the only way to move past our anger and enter into Jesus’ rest. In my life, I have let many of my reactions come from a place of fear, because a simple comment triggered an emotional response in me that was disproportional to the words. I’ve lashed out and hurt others, pushing them away, not because I meant to but because I didn’t know how to handle the feelings inside of me. I operated from an identity of insecurity and pain rather than confidence and joy. The heavenly trinity adores you and wants you to be free from the pain of a fallen world, but you must first open your heart to them. I challenge you to search your heart. Ask God to reveal to you areas of improper response in your life. Ask him to walk with you down the path of your life’s journey and point out areas of great sadness. These areas often hold keys to finding healing. They are places that God can speak to and begin to reshape who you think you are. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.1
- Proverbs 23:7, KJV ↩