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Summary: Doing this is not only good theology but also good medicine. Latest medical and psychological research says doing this is good for our souls and good for our bodies. People who do this benefit from . . .

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Healing an Old Wound

Ephesians 4:30-32

Studies show that doing this is not only good theology but also good medicine. Latest medical and psychological research says doing this is good for our souls and good for our bodies. People who do this benefit from . . .

• better immune system functioning

• lower blood pressure

• better mental health

• better physical health

• lower amounts of anger

• few symptoms of anxiety and depression

• more satisfying and long-lasting relationships

Ephesians 4:30-32

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

It is easier to allow wounds to remain than to allow them to heal. Healing process is tougher initially, but in the long run, much better for us.

You say, “What’s the big deal about leaving an emotional wound unhealed?”

v.30 brings sorrow to the H.S.

A man who owed an overwhelming debt. Finally, he stands before the master to whom he is indebted & says, "I can’t pay the debt. I don’t have the money." The master takes the note & stamps it "Paid in full." Then he hands it to him & says, "Here, it is forgiven. You don’t owe me any more."

And that is exactly what God does. In His kindness he reaches down, takes our overwhelming debt & erases it. He takes it all away.

But you remember the rest of the story, don’t you? This same man then went out into the street & met someone who owed him a much lesser amount. He grabbed him by the neck & said, "Pay me now, or else!"

Too often we behave just like that, don’t we? Yet, Paul says, "Forgive one another because you have been forgiven by Christ."

Imagine how this makes God feel

v.30 b/c He has identified you as His own and guaranteed your salvation

You are God’s and what you do reflects on Him.

Is there someone you need to speak with to heal an old wound?

For Christ’s sake, heal the wound now.

You say, “How does one go about healing an old wound?”

v.31 get rid of what’s causing the wound to remain

Bitterness- bitterness is like a root; you can’t see it, but you can see its effects.

Rage- anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again (like the effects of wine on a drunk).

Anger-root word is “desiring and stretching out for something.”

Harsh words-image is that of crying out like a raven

Slander- “Blasphemia”; speaking evil of someone

Malicious behavior-kakos: desire to injure.

You say, “How do I get rid of these? That seems impossible.”

Action Plan

v.32

*Be kind

Opposite of bitter is sweetness

Kindness is love with its work clothes on.

Not an emotion; it’s a choice.

Kindness is something that can eventually lead to forgiveness. Here is an example:

J. R. Packard wrote a short story entitled, "The Trouble Is." In that story there is one very moving scene.

A riot is in progress with blacks & whites fighting each other. The mother of the little black boy who is telling this story has been hurt. Her family has just gone down & picked her up off the ground & carried her upstairs & placed her in bed.

Now, the little black boy is standing by the window with his grandmother watching what is going on below. As they watch the fighting they notice a white boy running away from a group of blacks. It seems that he’ll get away until he makes a fatal mistake. He turns down their alley, not knowing that it is a dead end. Too late, he realizes his mistake & he turns with a look of horror on his face towards the black youths who are coming after him.

As the little boy watches, he sees a door open below & his grandmother standing there beckoning the white boy to escape through the open door. The little boy says, "At first I was glad because my grandmother had opened the door so the white boy could escape. Then I remembered my mother bleeding & suffering on the bed, & that white people had done that to her. Then I was angry at my grandmother for opening the door."

He goes on, "The trouble is that when people hate each other, that the people who are the objects of the hate want to hate the people who hate them, & hurt the people who hurt them, & insult the people who insult them. Soon we find ourselves in a vicious cycle of hating, hurting, & insulting. And nobody opens the door. So we just keep on hurting & hating & insulting."

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