By: carole l. Haines
I remember hearing as a child, “OOOOOO, those wounds look angry.” I never knew what that meant, but later I came to find out that it meant the wounds looked infected. I have a couple of those infected wounds on my arm right now, from gardening and coming into contact with poison ivy. It made me think about our emotional wounds. Can they get “angry” looking too? Do emotional wounds hove the potential to get infected? My own personal experience tells me that they do. God made us deeply feeling people, even as He Himself expresses emotions. God has said in His Word that He:
“The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” (Genesis 6:6)
“Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses,” (Genesis 4:14)
6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (Exodus 34:6)
God was sorry and grieved. At times, His anger burns. Yet, He is also compassionate and gracious, abounding in lovingkindness. Emotions are a part of how we are made in the Image of God.
But our anger, bitterness, frustration, etc. can cause wounds that get infected, that look angry. To cure infection, you need something stronger than the infection itself. In our bodies, there are antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria. But sometimes our own antibodies are not strong enough and need help from what we call antibiotics. These assist the body in killing certain fungi and bacteria during an illness. They assist our own immune system and strengthen it to fight what we cannot fight alone.
When it comes to infected emotional wounds, we need God to come alongside us and enable us to fight it and heal. Forgiveness is the greatest weapon in our arsenal when it comes to this malady, and forgiveness is only possible when we recognize just how sinful we ourselves are.
I love what Ecclesiastes says:
20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21 Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. 22 For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others. (Ecclesiastes 7:20-22)
Infected emotional wounds can often come from a inability to see ourselves as we really are. We are all sinners. We are all in need of a Savior. He is Jesus Christ. Our Savior summed up the Law and the Prophets in two commands,
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
I’ve often heard it said that the three most important words in a relationship are, “I love you.” But I am inclined to think that they are, “I forgive you.” When it comes to our angry emotional wounds, the two-sided coin we must use is love and forgiveness. Only God is strong enough to help us do this. Bring your angry wounds to God today and ask for His help in loving and forgiving others. He will make a way for healing and restoration for you, even where there seems to be no way.