I was a bit of a sulker growing up. Being sent to my room or even grounded felt, in some way, like a secret reward—there I could nurse my wounds in whatever which way I wanted. Thank God He saved me, or I’d still be sulking in a corner somewhere. Quieting ourselves away with a wounded heart or spirit can be a good thing—God can bring clarity to situations, slow our response time before saying something sinful and reveal our own sin. But sulking over a seeming injustice against us can also result in a grievous sin against God and others. We may see the ways God hasn’t answered a specific desire or has answered it and the answer brings with it difficulty we couldn’t imagine, so we react with pride or anger or bitterness. Forgetting that Christ was wounded on our behalf, setting us free from the power of sin and death, we can begin to weaponize our wounds against others, wounding them in the belief that it will lessen the ache of our own.
God is like a surgeon, slicing our skin and piercing our protection in order to reveal and remove what festers within us. He does it because He’s good and He desires us to be healed and whole. If we only view our wounds as punitive punishment from Him or others, we will be prone to weaponizing them against others instead of receiving the grace of God for whatever we face.
Whatever season of life you’re in—a tired parent of little ones, a single person who desires marriage, an infertile couple who longs for children, a janitor who’s qualified to be an executive, a business owner who feels thwarted, a father who just lost your job, a mother whose children have left home, a minister who feels unseen and unthanked—God is working in your wounding. He’s working in the ways you feel overlooked, unheard, unseen and hurt. He’s working in your weakness. The Psalmist wrote of God, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Ask your Father to help you lay down the arms you use to self-protect, step off the platforms you use to keep yourself separate and silence the screams that no one cares about your season of life.
When we come out of the corners where we sulk over our wounds and lay down the weapons we form from them, we begin to see the great level land before the cross—all of us in equal need of the gospel for whatever season or struggle or sin we are engaged in. Christ’s wounds were weaponized with finality against the Enemy so our wounds wouldn’t have to be weaponized against anyone ever.
For further reading/listening: