How can we heal emotional scars?

Written by Lee Stevenson, sorry I am not the best editor.

The bible tells us we must love God with our whole heart, our whole soul and whole mind. In doing so it will protect our hearts and our minds. I am going to discus how to deal with the emotional hurt we experience and how to overcome it and even avoid it. The first thing I will discuss is how to avoid it because if we do not avoid it we are asking to have a lot of emotional scars on our hearts which is a heavy burden to carry. Then I will discuss how we can heal those scars. We need to keep in mind we are imperfect also and others also will be hurt by us. We need to expect to be hurt because all fall short of God. We need to learn to deal with it in a way God would approve. We also need to learn how to avoid being hurt, how to avoid hurting others and how to overcome being hurt. Our refuge should be in God. We need to keep in mind we are temporary residents in this system and this system belongs to those who choose Satan’s side in matters by disobeying God and putting their trust in man, themselves, and the world. This is going to cause us many problems. God should be our refuge not the world. If we turn to the world to heal our hearts and minds we will usually end up with more emotional scars and pain. God cares for us and he does not like when we suffer.

(Mark 12:28-30) 28 One of the scribes who had come up and heard them disputing, knowing that he had answered them in a fine way, asked him: “Which commandment is first of all?” 29 Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, 30 and you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’

(Psalm 46:1-3) 46 God is our refuge and strength, A help that is readily found in times of distress.  2 That is why we will not fear, though the earth undergoes change, Though the mountains topple into the depths of the sea,  3 Though its waters roar and foam over, Though the mountains rock on account of its turbulence. (Selah)

(Psalm 34:18, 19) 18 Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; He saves those who are crushed in spirit. ר [Resh] 19 Many are the hardships of the righteous one, But Jehovah rescues him from them all.

God did not tell us we would not suffer. He told us he would give us thoughts of peace. It also told us he would give us a future which gives us hope. That hope can help protect our minds and hearts.

(Jeremiah 29:11, 12) 11 “‘For I well know the thoughts that I am thinking toward you,’ declares Jehovah, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope. 12 And you will call me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.’

This system is rapidly winding down. The bible warned the gate is narrow and few would enter. So many would put their trust and faith in the world, man and themselves. Because of this their minds are corrupted. This means we will be dealing with a lot of emotional pain from the many things that come from mans rebellion against God and them putting their will over God’s. We will experience betrayal from lack of loyalty, we will be deceived which causes a lot of hurt and makes it difficult to trust others. If we hold on to the pain it can make us feel empty and disconnected from others. It can also effect us spiritually by crowding out our desire to draw closer to God. It is very important to do our best to avoid the negative effects of being hurt can have on us. We may even bring emotional pain on ourselves if we do not know what God requires and leave his word guide us.

We can limit how much we get hurt by putting God first in our lives and by associating with those who also put God first. We should let God guide all we do and those we associate with should also let God guide all we do. If we associate with those who do not put God first and show the fruits of the spirit or know love we are asking to be hurt. If someone puts money, power, material possessions, popularity, or many other things before God then we can surely expect to be hurt by them. They are not going to do what pleases God first but they will please themselves first. God would never want us to hurt others emotionally or physically. By knowing his will and what he requires we can avoid being hurt as much and avoid hurting others. The bible tells us to store up treasures in heaven. It warns where our our treasure is that is where our hearts will be. If we or those we associate with are not putting God first then we are bound to be let down and disappointed. By putting our trust and hope and happiness in God no one can take those away because we are storing up treasures in heaven. This trains our eye and heart to identify those who may cause us emotional pain or even spiritual harm. This can limit the pain we experience. If we dwell on the past then how can our eye and our heart stay focused on storing up treasures in heaven?

We will suffer because we are all imperfect and fall short of God. When we have been wronged or hurt we need to learn to forgive the person so we do not hold on to the anger, resentment and many other negative emotions that come from it. If they repent and do things to set their error straight we are to accept them back. If they refuse to repent, apologize and try to make things right then it would be foolish to continue to have them as a part of our lives because then we are asking to be hurt. When we have been hurt we should search God’s word on how to deal with it and how to avoid being hurt in such a way in the future. If we desire God to forgive us we must forgive others. If a person is truly repentant they will admit their error to you and God and will pray about it and we also are to pray for them. If they do not admit their error even if they are being nice it shows they have not repented and will most likely commit the same error in the future. If we continue to associate with them and have them as a part of our lives then we will only invite more hurt on ourselves. By forgiving others we are storing up treasures in heaven. Some sins are so severe that they leave scars that effect us the rest of our lives. In such instances it may be best to limit our contact with the person so we can move on but we still need to completely forgive them.

(Matthew 18:15-17) 15 “Moreover, if your brother commits a sin, go and reveal his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two more, so that on the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. 17 If he does not listen to them, speak to the congregation. If he does not listen even to the congregation, let him be to you just as a man of the nations and as a tax collector.

(Matthew 6:19-23) 19 “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is focused, your whole body will be bright. 23 But if your eye is envious, your whole body will be dark. If the light that is in you is really darkness, how great that darkness is!

(James 5:16) 16 Therefore, openly confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. A righteous man’s supplication has a powerful effect.

We should never retaliate when we have been wronged. Jesus tells us if someone strikes us offer them the other cheek. He does not mean this literally but he is saying we will be struck emotionally and struck in others ways so we should expect it , especially if the person does not put God first. We need to forgive them from the heart the bible tells us. So we do not only need to forgive them mentally but we need to leave go of the hurt that was caused by their error even if they have not repented. We have to remember we are all accountable to God and even if it seems the person who wronged us escaped untouched they will have to face God on his great day of judgment and will be held accountable and have to pay for the things they have done. It is God who will give vengeance, we are imperfect humans so do not have a right to judge others. God is perfect so his justice is perfect. By forgiving them from the heart we let go of any desires to seek vengeance, and the anger or resentment that may come from being wronged. by putting God first we do not have excess expectations of others especially if they are not putting God first in their lives. By being aware of this fact we can expect to be hurt and can better deal with it in a way God would approve of. If we obsess on others errors and how they wronged us it could even blind us to our own errors and we could get caught up in a cycle of looking at the bad in others and not reflecting in the mirror of God’s word so we can work on perfecting our worship. It will also prevent us from being able to fully love because if our hearts are full of hurt, anger or resentment it does not leave room for love.

(James 1:22-25) 22 However, become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, and he goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he is. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does.

(Luke 6:27-30) 27 “But I say to you who are listening: Continue to love your enemies, to do good to those hating you, 28 to bless those cursing you, to pray for those who are insulting you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your outer garment, do not withhold the inner garment either. 30 Give to everyone asking you, and from the one taking your things away, do not ask them back.

(Mark 11:24, 25) . . .. 25 And when you stand praying, forgive whatever you have against anyone, so that your Father who is in the heavens may also forgive you your trespasses. . .

(Matthew 18:32-35) . . .. 33 Should you not also have shown mercy to your fellow slave as I showed mercy to you?’ 34 With that his master, provoked to wrath, handed him over to the jailers until he repaid all that he owed. 35 My heavenly Father will also deal with you in the same way if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart.”

By putting our trust in God and Jesus and realizing we are all imperfect we learn to expect to be hurt sometimes and to let it go because we have the confidence that God and Jesus would never let us down , betray or hurt us. When we have been hurt by someone we care about we are to make them aware of their error. If they repent and apologize then we should forgive them they have proven they are a true friend. If they get angry then they have shown they do not have a desire to repent and will only hurt you more. If the person is a spiritual relative then we should talk to the elders and take at least two witnesses with us. If the person does not repent after we have taken the actions the bible tells us to then we are to view them as a worldly person. They have shown their true heart condition. I know it is hard to leave people go but it is for our own protection , such ones will only hurt you more and cause you more problems. By reflecting in the mirror of God’s word and doing the work God has given us to do the bible says we will be happy in the things we do. So by taking in God’s word and sharing it with others it will bring us happiness. Keep in mind our actions and others actions, if their actions show whether they know love or not. By knowing what God would require concerning love we need to learn what God’s view of love is and make sure those we associate with have a complete understanding of love.

There is a saying “actions speak louder then words” . If we only listen to a person’s words but do not pay attention to such things as do they put God’s first, do they know how to love the way God tells us to love? If we do not make certain of those things we are asking to be hurt because God gives us his word to guide and protect us. If we have been hurt because we did not make certain of these things we should take actions to make sure we know God’s word well enough to protect us from making such errors in the future. We need to hold ourselves accountable also and learn not to be blinded to such things in the future. Many will make excuses for someone when they continually error instead of speaking to them about their error. The bible tells us we are to speak to them about their error. If we do not then we can expect them to continue committing those errors. If they continue to follow the same course of conduct then they are of the world and we are to treat them likewise. We are to be no part of the world which means we should limit our association with them when possible.

(1 John 3:17, 18) . . .? 18 Little children, we should love, not in word or with the tongue, but in deed and truth.

The earth is rapidly changing , things are going to become much worse. It will be more and more difficult to find family , friends and associations we can trust. By using God’s word to guide us it can help us to deal with the negative emotions that we will experience from the world. By putting God’s word in our hearts it will heal our hearts and our minds. We will endure trying times. The bible tells us in doing so we learn to find comfort in God and we do not seek comfort in ourselves. When we learn to seek comfort in God , we then can teach others how to seek comfort from God. If we turn to our own reasoning or the world for answers to our pain then we could be drawn into sin and suffer as a sinner. If we do that what hope would we have?

(2 Corinthians 1:3-7) 3 Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our trials so that we may be able to comfort others in any sort of trial with the comfort that we receive from God. 5 For just as the sufferings for the Christ abound in us, so the comfort we receive through the Christ also abounds. 6 Now if we face trials, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are being comforted, it is for your comfort, which acts to help you to endure the same sufferings that we also suffer. 7 And our hope for you is unwavering, knowing as we do that just as you share in the sufferings, so you will also share in the comfort.

(1 Peter 4:15-17) 15 However, let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or a wrongdoer or a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but let him keep on glorifying God while bearing this name. 17 For it is the appointed time for the judgment to start with the house of God. Now if it starts first with us, what will the outcome be for those who are not obedient to the good news of God?

Some of our pain may be from sin we have committed. As discussed earlier we should confess our sin . Study God’s word to help us overcome it and do our best to set matters straight. Sometimes our sin can cause changes that will permanently alter our life and the lives of others making it impossible to try and correct the problems our sin has caused. If this occurs we need to repent, pray to God that those we have effected will heal and pray for God to help us overcome our sinful nature. Many struggle to get the life back they formerly had when they have sinned. This will not occur. We need to accept our life has changed. If it was someone else sin that has changed our lives , we must except that things have changed for us. By putting our trust and hope in God it will make it easier to deal with the changes and the emotional pain. If it was our error that caused the pain we should not continue in sin we should do our best to correct the actions that brought about the self inflicted pain. If we continue in sin when we know it is wrong the bible tells us there is no forgiveness. The things in this system are temporary. Why would we put our trust in things that will end soon when we have the hope God has given us in the future promises? How empty someone must feel if they have forfeited their future hope just to indulge in sin? The bible says those who are sinful in the least are sinful in the most. This is because one little sin can open the door for many more. The bible tells us those who continue to practice sin are of the Devil. Surely we would not want to choose his side in this spiritual battle, he and those who sided with him will be destroyed. What hope do such ones have? If we are sinning we should confess our sin and repent so we can be shown mercy. We are going to suffer no matter what, because we are in the last days. Why forfeit our hope in the promises God has given us?

(Hebrews 10:26-29) 26 For if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left, 27 but there is a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a burning indignation that is going to consume those in opposition. 28 Anyone who has disregarded the Law of Moses dies without compassion on the testimony of two or three. 29 How much greater punishment do you think a person will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God and who has regarded as of ordinary value the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and who has outraged the spirit of undeserved kindness with contempt?

(1 John 3:6-8) . . .. 7 Little children, let no one mislead you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as that one is righteous. 8 The one who practices sin originates with the Devil, because the Devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was made manifest, to break up the works of the Devil.

(Proverbs 28:13) 13 The one covering over his transgressions will not succeed, But whoever confesses and abandons them will be shown mercy.

(Luke 16:9-13) . . .. 10 The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and the person unrighteous in what is least is unrighteous also in much. 11 Therefore, if you have not proved yourselves faithful in connection with the unrighteous riches, who will entrust you with what is true? 12 And if you have not proved yourselves faithful in connection with what belongs to another, who will give you something for yourselves? 13 No servant can be a slave to two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves to God and to Riches.”

Whether it was our sin or someone else that caused us pain we need to learn to look forward and not look back. If we continue to look back we cannot move forward spiritually or in life. We have to accept our life has changed and dwell on what God would want us to do. By looking forward it will keep fresh in our minds that we are in a spiritual race and Satan and the world is trying to overtake us so we will not receive the prize. By moving forward we can keep focused on the race and the prize that will be received by those who win the race. In order to win the race we need to read God’s word and meditate on it daily. In doing so we have the hope in the salvation God has promised. If we suffered hurt from someone else sin we should not look back at what we may have lost or how we have been hurt. This will prevent us from moving forward. When driving a car if we only looked in the rear view mirror we would surely crash because we cannot see the road ahead of us. Likewise if we continue looking to the past then we cannot see the spiritual road and life ahead of us. People of the world easily tire out when they suffer but those who put their trust and faith in God are renewed daily.

Sometimes if our lives have changed enough it may be necessary to move. When our lives have already been dramatically changed it may be difficult to imagine starting a new life. Often times it is difficult for others to forgive us even if we have repented and it is difficult to prove to them you have repented , which means it would be difficult to regain their trust. If we were sinned against and the person is unrepentant and we are living close to them then we would have the constant reminder of the past and how your life has been changed meaning we could not focus on moving forward. If it was a spouse who sinned against us and the sin was serious enough to result in divorce and we are living in the same house. It could be a constant reminder of how your life has changed and could keep us from moving forward. If we are unable to move maybe we could make some changes in our lives by finding new friends who would build us up spiritually and not draw our short comings out. If we cannot move we could make changes to the house so it will be different helping to reduce the constant reminders of how life used to be. We must do our best to put God first, and to stay focused on the future hope God has given us. If we do not put God first in our lives we cannot heal from the pain we experience in life. Healing from emotional pain means we need to focus on healing spiritually. Without putting God first we will not fully heal from the pain and we risk experiencing more emotional pain and scars. By putting God first and putting our trust and hope in him it helps us to continue to look forward and to leave go of the pain of the past. We have the hope in the future promise and a security in knowing things will be much much better very soon. We need to forgive as God forgives us in order to move on and heal from any emotional scars we have experienced. If it was our own sin that caused the pain and we have repented then we need to forgive ourselves.

(1 Corinthians 9:24-27) 24 Do you not know that the runners in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. 25 Now everyone competing in a contest exercises self-control in all things. Of course, they do it to receive a crown that can perish, but we, one that does not perish. 26 Therefore, the way I am running is not aimlessly; the way I am aiming my blows is so as not to be striking the air; 27 but I pummel my body and lead it as a slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself should not become disapproved somehow.

(Joshua 1:7-9) 7 “Only be courageous and very strong, and observe carefully the entire Law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not deviate from it either to the right or to the left, so that you may act wisely wherever you go. 8 This book of the Law should not depart from your mouth, and you must read it in an undertone day and night, in order to observe carefully all that is written in it; for then your way will be successful and then you will act wisely. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and strong. Do not be struck with terror or fear, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go.”

(Hebrews 2:1-3) 2 That is why it is necessary for us to pay more than the usual attention to the things we have heard, so that we never drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved to be sure, and every transgression and disobedient act received a punishment in harmony with justice, 3 how will we escape if we have neglected so great a salvation? For it began to be spoken through our Lord and was verified for us by those who heard him,

(Isaiah 43:18, 19) 18 “Do not remember the former things, And do not dwell on the past. 19 Look! I am doing something new; Even now it is springing up. Do you not recognize it? I will make a way through the wilderness And rivers through the desert.

(Mark 10:28-31) . . .” 29 Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, no one has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the good news 30 who will not get 100 times more now in this period of time—houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the coming system of things, everlasting life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

(Isaiah 40:29-31) 29 He gives power to the tired one And full might to those lacking strength. 30 Boys will tire out and grow weary, And young men will stumble and fall, 31 But those hoping in Jehovah will regain power. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; They will walk and not tire out.”

(Romans 15:13) 13 May the God who gives hope fill you with all joy and peace by your trusting in him, so that you may abound in hope with power of holy spirit.