Healing the Wounded Heart
First, we need to get in on God’s plan to heal us and make us whole. The result will be that we become loving and whole people. For only to the degree that we become whole will our lifestyle and relationships be wholesome. This is a process of growth, recovery, and maturity. Becoming a Christian is only the beginning of this process—a process that takes time.
Furthermore, we need to want it badly enough that we are willing to do whatever it takes to work through and resolve our issues. As Jesus put it, “Do you want to be made whole?”1
Second, if we don’t get sufficient unconditional love as a child, we need to get it now. Some say we get love by giving love. However, we can’t give what we don’t have. If we don’t feel loved, we cannot give it. Neither can we work for it. Love is learned. The Bible says, “We love God because he first loved us,” 2 a love he clearly demonstrated through the giving of his Son, Jesus, to die on the Cross for our sins. As we learn to love God because he first loved us, we learn to love ourselves and others because somebody needs to first love us.
Third, to be loved, we need be connected to our “dark side.” That is, we need to be in touch with those hidden areas of our lives of which we are afraid, ashamed, or insecure about—the things we feel if others knew about, they would reject us.
Next, we need to bring our dark side into the light and be connected to some safe people. That is, we need to take the risk and share our dark side—warts and all-with one or two people who will not judge us, preach at us, condemn us to try to fix us, but love and accept us exactly as we are. It is through their loving acceptance that we learn, little by little, to love and accept ourselves. As we get damaged in damaging relationships, we need to get healed in healing relationships.
We learn to love ourselves
and others because somebody
needs to first love us.
A great example of this love is seen in how Jesus accepted the woman caught in the act of adultery—in his day the penalty of which was death by stoning! Jesus didn’t condone this woman’s actions. Neither did he condemn her. He loved and accepted her unconditionally, as she was. Through his loving acceptance, she was able to love and accept herself. This freed her from the “need” to look for love in the wrong ways and act out her lack of love in self-destructive ways. Because Jesus met her need for love and acceptance, he was able to say to her, “Go and sin no more.”3
Finally, to learn love and find wholeness, we need to be connected to God. As we bring our dark side to him and confess all our sins, failures and weaknesses to him, ask for his forgiveness, and invite Jesus into our hearts and lives, God freely forgives us as well as giving us the gift of eternal life. And as God forgives us, we too need to forgive ourselves.
James, the brother of our Lord, gave us a divine principle for healing when he said, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”4
It was a lack of love that caused our friend to beat his wives. It is a lack of love that causes all of us to hurt other people. For the sake of ourselves, our loved ones and our nation, we need to feel loved. This we can fine as we get connected with our true selves, with some safe people, and with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. John 5:6.
2. John 4:19.
3. See John 8:3-11.
4. James 5:16 NIV.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.