Picking at the scab of past pain

By Dave Henning / May 21, 2021

“When we keep picking at the scab of past pain, refusing to allow the wound to heal, we will become bitter.  And bitterness spawns other undesirable emotions and actions.  Look at the words Paul tethered to bitterness: rage, anger, brawling, slander, malice.   A bitter root will produce bitter fruit.  It has no choice.”- Sharon Jaynes

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”- Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)

Sharon Jaynes continues Chapter 4 of When You Don’t Like Your Story as she notes that many people desire comfort in their dysfunction.  But, they don’t want healing from what wounded them or the stuck patterns keeping them mired there.

Like the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, it’s paralyzing to live in the past.  Therefore, Jesus asks us the same question he asked the lame man: Do you want to get well?  So once we say yes, we’ve taken the first step – to pick up our mat and walk.  However, that doesn’t mean we receive instantaneous healing.  Often, healing takes more time than we think it should.

For example, it took Michelangelo four years to pain his masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  However, it took eight years for restorers to clean away 370 years of accumulated soot and grime.

And, in our own lives, it may take twice as long to heal from the most difficult parts of our stories as it took for the painful chapter to be written in the first place.  Even so, Sharon exhorts, healing begins with a determined decision that says, I will not live:

  • bitter
  • angry
  • disappointed
  • discouraged
  • wounded
  • shamed

Finally, Sharon relates that our brain often remembers negative events more vividly than positive ones.  In addition, negative events require that we think, process, and ruminate more to absorb them.  That engrains such events deeply in our minds.

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you resist picking at the scab of your pain?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Replowing the soil of our wounds”

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Dave Henning

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