"Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." - Proverbs 18:21
As we venture through this thing called life, it’s inevitable that we will receive what I call 'heart wounds.' Wounds of the hearts are those wounds that have afflicted the inner man, the deep part of us within. That is, who we really are. The heart is described as the “the seat of the person” while the physical body itself is the vehicle that the inner man sits in and drives. This is why is so catastrophic when person receives a wound of the heart. A person who receives a physical wound but has not been afflicted inwardly has a more powerful drive to push on through the physical pain. Yet, the person who receives a wound to the heart is almost completely shut down. “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear (Proverbs 18:14)?”
It is like soldiers and a tank. The tank itself is the physical body while the soldiers are the inward man. The soldiers control, direct, and maneuver the tank. Without the soldiers, the tank is lifeless. Without the inner man, the physical body is lifeless. Therefore, if the tank takes a hit but yet the soldiers survive, they can repair the tank and move on. Yet, if the soldiers are hit, there’s no longer anyone to drive the tank. It's catastrophic. When someone receives a heart wound, it can almost shut down the life of the body.
Consider a severely depressed person, for example. I’ve often said that severe depression is the closest a person can be to being dead without actually being dead. A depressed person has no motivation to do anything that once gave them pleasure. They are completely content with locking themselves in a room and lying in the bed languishing in their own 'dead' emotions. They drag through their existence like a zombie looking for rest for their souls. Having a heart wound can be a deadly blow to the spiritual life of a person (it can also be a deadly blow to the physical life of a person as it has been proven that psychological ailments can lead to bodily ailments, i.e. worry and anxiety can lead to heart disease).
Heart wounds are the result of spiritual arrows being directed at person with malice. These spiritual arrows can come in many forms but most of the time it comes in the form of words whether it be written, typed, or spoken. Every one of us reading this probably can remember a time as children when someone said something insulting about us even though it was probably spoken in third grade. Why do we still remember it? Because that word was an arrow that pierced the heart and the scar of the wound is still there. Someone made a derogatory comment about our hair, or our glasses, or your height, or our nose, etc. It stirred within us a form or self-consciousness that probably has dominated our life until now.
The result was severe as their words caused a heart wound that became infected with bitterness. Adrian Rogers, in a sermon I once listened to, describes the process of what these words cause: "hurt, then hurt turns into bitterness." Heart wounds fester and can even harden the heart completely consuming the person. It takes hold of the person and permeates every facet of their being. It controls and directs their choices and drains the life from them.
Isn’t it true that there is power of life or death in words (Proverbs 18:21)? Consider that suicides among teens can be traced back usually to a harsh word spoken toward or about them. They tragically can't seem to push on in a world of such rejection and hate. Words are so powerful that they cause individuals to change their whole lives around just to be accepted by those around them. Has it ever occurred to us that we probably are the direct product of words spoken about and toward us? The way we dress, talk, and carry ourselves is probably the result of attempting to meet the expectations of others around us. Those expectations, of course, were voiced to us through words.
These scarred wounds probably will be a part of our personality forever but they do not have to control us. What do we do with these wounds? We take them to the only one who has the ability to heal the inner man, our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Gospels, even though He healed many physical diseases, He was far more concerned about the spiritual man. He was far more concerned about healing the inner man that had been trotted down by sin and the impossible expectations of the proud and the self-righteous (Pharisees). However, these wounds had to be exposed before they could be healed. Speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus reveals her gaping wounds within by exposing her sin (John 4:1-29). Once the wounds were exposed, her heart was ready to be healed.
The wounds that we carry, as long as they are carried, will consume and dictate our lives if we let them. Yet, Jesus stands by waiting for us to bring the wounds to Him. Let's drag our weary heart to Him and let Him wash it with fresh, cool water and soothe our souls. Only He can.