When sin results in emotional pain, we can become emotionally scarred. However, this kind of scarring is different from a skin scar that heals over and leaves only a visible reminder of the prior trauma. Emotional scars remain open, so to speak. They don't heal over. They remain sensitive, and the slightest trigger-event can cause us to respond with behavior that actually reinforces the emotional wound, creating a cycle of perpetual woundedness. Christians are not exempt, and unless we intentionally address our soul wounds, the enemy will continue to have a stronghold in this area.
I was in an automobile accident many years ago. I was driving, with my teenage daughter in the passenger seat, when we were side-struck head-on by another vehicle on the passenger side of the car. The trauma of the event, especially seeing how my daughter could have been seriously injured or killed, has resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder. To this very day, when a vehicle is approaching me from the passenger side, I have an adverse reaction.
I've read that post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of a soul wound. So are rejection, abandonment and fear, to identify a few. A wounded soul can cause physical infirmities as well as undesirable behaviors. A wounded soul gives place for the enemy, the devil, to trouble even the most committed Christian. We need to understand the realm of soul wounds so we can experience the healing and wholeness Christ died to give us.
We are made in three parts: body, soul and spirit. We know our bodies are temporal, the physical house for our eternal spirit and soul. Our soul is the essence of who we are, often referred to as the "heart" in Scripture. The Bible uses the Hebrew word leb to describe the mind, will, intellect, emotions and distinctive personality of a person. The soul is the very essence of the unique individual. Our spirit is the part that makes it possible for us to communicate with God.
When we place our faith in Jesus as our personal Savior, our spirit is made entirely new—we are given a new spirit that didn't exist before—a spirit that is holy and pure able to intimately relate with the Holy Spirit of God. Our soul and body however, are transformed as we intentionally seek to mature in the understanding and application of our Christian faith. Our soul and body are not transformed without our intentional effort and desire to have our new spirit lead and transform them. Certainly, God can miraculously transform a person. Consider the apostle Paul's conversion. But even then, he took some years to learn about and apply his new-found faith.
As I've said before, "God can zap anything into existence any time He wants. But most often, He works through the cooperation of His people."
Soul wounds can be a part of us for so very long, that we accept them and are actually reluctant to be rid of them. Consider Jesus asking the invalid man at the pool of Bethesda if he wanted to be healed. We need to ask ourselves the same question, "Do I want to be healed?" Many consider themselves justified to hold onto their soul wound as a means of self-protection so they won't get wounded in that same area again. That's a lie from the pit of hell and in reality, is an evil familiar spirit that's established a stronghold.
What areas of emotional woundedness do you suffer? What do you know to be the cause of the soul wound? If the cause was your own doing, the beginning of your healing is to repent. If you harbor remorse, guilt, bitterness, doubt, anger, unforgiveness and such self-imposed emotions, you need to recognize that you've allowed the soul wound to become an altar in your mind. You've actually created a place where the enemy can and will control you. You need to smash this altar with the truth of God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit to heal you.
If the soul wound was caused by someone else, you need to forgive them. You need to understand that when the person sinned against you, they were not controlled by God or His unfailing love. They were acting of their own accord, potentially under the influence of the devil, even if they were a born-again Christian.
Understand that whether the sin was yours or another's, the origin of sin is the enemy of God. When we cooperate with sin, we are cooperating with the devil. Soul wounds are not something we can heal on our own. They are rooted in sin, and sin can only be healed by surrendering the sin to Jesus. There is not a single sin that is outside God's ability to heal and restore.
The apostle Paul urges all of us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Read and meditate on Romans 12:1-2. To renew our mind means to replace the lies we believe with the truth of God's Word. Does your soul wound cause you to feel like a loser, unworthy or a failure? What does God's Word say about who you are? Be intentional about having your thoughts and beliefs line up with the truth of God's Word. Use this link to download 90 Scriptures of who you are in Christ, published by.RisenKing.org:
For over 25 years, Pamela Christian has compassionately helped people in matters of faith as a Bible teacher, keynote retreat and conference speaker, radio and television talk-show host, award-winning author and apologetics enthusiast (Biola University). Pamela uniquely helps people discover and live in life-giving truth and experience the victorious power available through faith in Christ. Learn more at pamelachristianministries.
This article originally appeared at pamelachristianministries.com.