Summary: This message was preached on Ash Wednesday and it deals with the power of Jesus Christ to bring healing to the emotional wounds of our lives.
Ash Wednesday Emotional Wounds & Healing
Ash Wednesday is a time when we begin to become clean with God and accept what God says about us. I came across the following section from the book “Imitation of Christ”
“I have been crucified with Christ …” (Galatians 2:20). To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else.
The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. Our pretending to be something that we are not. The idea that I am almost a perfect Christian is a deception. What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin. Actually, that is all He can take from us. And what He gives us in exchange for our sin is real solid righteousness. But we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.
Here is what God says about us.
10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”[a] 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”[b]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[c] 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[d] “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[e] 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[f]
Everybody fits somewhere in these categories and most of us fit into more than one. This means that all of us are going to have some problems and hurts in life, because sin leaves us all with marks and scars.
Not only do we have our own sin, we then have to deal with losses that come to us from the sins and neglects of others. God created us all with some needs that when they are not taken care of, we can end up with some losses and wounds. If we grow up without feeling loved, it does some damage to us. If we grow up feeling unprotected it also can do damage to us.
There are also unintentional losses that come into our lives such as the death of a loved one, a lingering illness, a career loss, or a move that takes us away from family or friends.
Then compound that with the reality that sometimes people intentionally inflict pain on us through physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, abandonment and acts of betrayal.
All of us have something in our past, that has kept us broken as adults if we have not allowed Jesus to heal that particular situation. Most of the times we masque our hurts, and put layers of defenses on our wounds and try to bury them so that they we will not hurt us again. But hiding over a problem does not make it go away. If our arm has a cut that becomes infected, simply putting a decorative bandage on it does not make it get any better. The hurt and infection only does its damage in ways we do not see.