A few weeks ago my twin daughters were hanging out with their uncle, my older brother, Aaron. My girls noticed a small scar on his face that they had not noticed before. They started probing him on how he got the scar. Aaron told them the story of when he was a little boy and had fallen and hit his face on the table. For the next week my daughters kept asking me for more details about the story. They wanted to know if I was there when it happened. Did it hurt? Does it still hurt?
There is power in scars. Scars tell stories.
Scars give others hope because the person bearing it is still standing, even if the process of gaining the scar caused pain.
In today’s society so many people try to cover up their scars with makeup, creams, oils, and even surgery. I am not opposed, however many, even believers, have bought into the idea that scars are ugly and should be covered. It is human nature to protect and cover up past hurt and pain. This has created a false perspective of the church that people can’t relate to. I do believe that the church consists of many people who are trying to move forward with new life in Christ and not dwell on the past.
There is a difference between dwelling on past hurt and rejoicing in God who got you through them.
I grew up as a pastor’s kid and have been in pastoral ministry since I was 17 years old. Pastoring is one of the greatest joys of my life, and has also been a source of some of the greatest pain. Growing up my family and I experienced loss as friends, and people we considered family, decided to leave the church. It wasn’t so much them leaving that hurt the most. It was the personal attacks and cutting off of relationship that caused the deepest pain. I’d be lying to you if I said that I entered pastoral ministry as an adult with no scars.
The question is not whether or not I was scarred, but rather what I would do with my scars.
Would I allow them to speak negativity and death, or would I allow the truth of God's word to speak into my life? Rejection didn't automatically go away. Now the attacks were pointed at me, not my parents. It became personal at a much deeper level. Truthfully, it hurt. A lot! It hurts when the people you think have your back reject you. I remember vividly in that season fighting the urge to people please. My scars started speaking and I started listening. I had to press in like never before to truth, holistic thinking, and the love of God in order to walk wholly before the Lord, and continue to love God’s people without fearing them.
My pain became my beautiful scars; a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness which overshadowed the rejection of others.
Many forget that Jesus is still scarred. When Jesus was resurrected He authenticated Himself to His disciples by revealing his scars. Jesus drew attention to the places He had been wounded and broken. He doesn’t only bear scars on His hands, but also on His side, head, back, and feet. Jesus bares eternal scars on His body, yet He is not ashamed of them. Jesus told His disciples to touch His scars, to place their hands on His side. Jesus sees scars differently than we do. What we would rather hide, Jesus willingly reveals.
Unless we deal with the scars in our life properly they will compromise us, and cause us to not see the Lord properly. We all have scars in our life so there’s no need to act as if we don’t. The truth is, we are good at polishing up. However, not dealing with hurt and pain opens the door to the enemy of your soul to speak into the scarred areas of your life.
Redeemed pain is not only beautiful; it is powerful.
People can relate to imperfect and scarred people, but they can’t relate to perfect people. When God redeems pain it is one of the most powerful testimonies. You are either perpetuating pain or healing pain. It just depends on how you deal with your scars.
I encourage you to not prematurely reveal unhealed scars. You cannot heal a scar until you get rid of the message in the scar. This is accomplished by replacing lies, curses, and words of death with the truth of God’s Word, and His worth. Remember today that you are worth it! You are worthy to be loved. You are not a failure. You are a winner. You are going to succeed. God made you for success.
Allow the love of God to fully heal you so that you can joyfully lead others to Jesus through your testimony. I have found that people’s hearts are open and receptive to those who have been healed by God and are not ashamed of it.
Just as Jesus isn’t ashamed of His scars, we shouldn’t be ashamed of ours either.
The church should be a beautifully scarred people revealing healed scars to everyone we encounter!