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The wounds of the soul

Updated: Mar 23

Shalom alekhem (שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם) instrument of peace! May the faith in GOD and GOD's faith be found in you. May the gift of faith, the word of faith, the spirit of faith, the testimony of faith, and the works of faith be yours sharing. The foundations define the stability, durability, safety, and durability of the building. Check the quality of the soil and make sure your foundations are good before raising the building. " The memory of the righteous is in blessing, while the name of the wicked falls to decay." (Proverbs 10:7, Segond 21) Be a blessing.

  1. Soul wounded, offended, bruised, in deficiency

  2. Wounded by others, trauma, and self

  3. Wounds: rejection, abandonment, and non-recognition

  4. Wounds: betrayal, injustice, humiliation, and abuse

  5. Wounds and temperaments: avoiding extremes and jumping to conclusions

  6. Wounds are not excuses for hurting others (being hurt doesn't take away responsibility)

  7. Ask the HOLY SPIRIT

(Isaiah 1:6, KJ21) : " From the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. "

❖ (Psalms 147:3, KJ21) : " He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. "

❖ (Isaiah 52:13, NIV) : " See, my servant will act wisely ; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted."

1. Soul wounded, offended, bruised, in deficiency

A physical injury is a lesion anywhere on the body, caused voluntarily or involuntarily by a physical or chemical agent, pressure, shock, blow, weapon, fire or heat. In everyday language, the term refers to an open wound (cutaneous or mucous membrane break). By extension, it also refers to any traumatic injury to the body, even if the lesion is closed (intact skin or mucous membrane). By abuse of language, any painful damage to the body that prevents the pursuit of normal physical activities is called an "injury" (e.g. low back pain in the case of an athlete). In the case of a closed lesion (e.g. a closed fracture), the first risk is a total or partial loss of mobility. In the case of an open lesion or wound, the first risk is bacterial infection.

A soul wound is an emotional and/or sentimental suffering, conscious or unconscious, resulting from an experience, bad or perceived as bad, forgotten or recalled, leading to an affective disorder, an attachment disorder, an inability or difficulty to be authentic and flourishing in your relationship with GOD, your relationships with others or your self-acceptance (self-esteem, recognition of your potential, qualities, weaknesses, achievements, needs and aspirations).

  • On one hand, the injured person wants to protect him/herself from a possible injury or avoid rekindling an existing injury: he/she is either in denial, hyper-controlled, lax or excessively self-protective.

  • On the other hand, because he/she has not healed, his/her perception is distorted, and he/she may lack objectivity in reasoning, or react disproportionately, to the extreme or opposite of his/her temperament. The result is a person who hurts others and/or herself.

The first injuries occur in childhood, but people can be injured at any age. When untreated :

  • Wounds distort character and negatively affect relationships. By relationships, I mean our relationship with GOD, with ourselves and with others. In response to unhealed wounds, we tend to adopt survival behaviors, called masks in psychology.

  • Wounds create false reasoning and limiting thoughts that reinforce those same wounds.

  • Wounds can open doors to demonic influences and oppression.

Just as the physical body can be deficient in nutrients, injured or ill, so the soul can be in deficiency, injured or ill. In common usage, the expressions wounded soul, offended soul, bruised soul are used for all soul injuries, regardless of their cause. quite often, offended soul is used to describe a wound caused by the actions, attitudes or words of one or more people. The expression bruised soul is more commonly used when the wound is a deep sorrow. For example, a person who has just lost his or her entire family would be said to have a bruised soul, while a person who is angry at a scam or feels scorned would be said to have an offended soul. The expression soul in deficiency is commonly replaced by soul in lack of. We will say, for example, that a person is lacking in self-esteem, or that a child is lacking in affection.

French law defines a disability as " any limitation of activity or restriction of participation in life in society suffered in his environment by a person due to a substantial, lasting or definitive alteration of one or more physical, sensory, mental, cognitive or psychic, multiple handicaps or a debilitating health problem. " (article L114 - social action and family code). By analogy, a soul is handicapped when it fails to manifest (from progress to progress) the character and sentiments of CHRIST due to injury (offense or grief), demonic oppression, deficiency, or false reasoning.

Physical injury is assessed by the degree of severity, not the intensity of pain. Depending on their severity, injuries are classified into three groups:

  • First-degree injuries, light, superficial, or not serious. These are, for example, scrapes, scratches, grazes, skin cuts, and first-degree burns. There is no, if not very little, bleeding. Healing is rapid and without sequelae. The scars disappear quickly and quite often without leaving stains. Wounds are shallow and not very extensive.

  • Second-degree or deep wounds. These are painful injuries that require bandaging, with or without medication. The pain subsides slowly and progressively. Healing is slow and leaves scars. Nerve endings are affected, and the epidermis (first layer of skin) and part of the dermis (second layer of skin) are destroyed.

  • Third-degree or serious injuries. They can lead to permanent disability or death. Injuries are very severe, with many cells affected and destroyed. Blood loss is severe. Pain is constant, to the point of preventing sleep. Disinfections and bandage changes are regular, to limit the risk of infection and avoid imputation or death. The injured person is immobilized and feels exhausted for the first few days or weeks.

The same applies to wounds of the soul. Some are light, some deep, and some serious. What is a serious wound for a child could also be a serious wound for an adult.

2. Wounded by others, trauma, and self

The origin is the starting point, while the causes are the circumstances that trigger the injuries. The origin of injuries is the fall of Man. I imply :

  • Separation or loss of communion with GOD : Man no longer has full knowledge of GOD's will, which is perfect and does no harm.

  • The flesh or sinful nature : the inclination to sin, to reject GOD's will (time, actions, and intentions). In the inclination to sin, there is the capacity or tendency to injure voluntarily or involuntarily, and the disposition to be injured. By eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve received the sin nature. They received the knowledge of good and evil without the ability to resist evil and continually choose the good. This is one of the differences between the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (the tree of death).

  • The unrestored soul or non-renewal of thoughts : When we receive JESUS as Savior and LORD, we are progressively transformed into the image of CHRIST (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are healed of our wounds, delivered from spiritual yokes, prisons, and strongholds. Our reasoning is changed (1 Corinthians 1:18), we have the sentiments and character of CHRIST (the fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT). We are less and less likely to hurt and especially to be hurt by others. Even if we are wounded again, GOD will heal and restore us.

We can be :

  • Hurt by others : absence, actions, attitudes, words, silence, presence, reactions, scandals, incidents that are harmless to an adult but hurtful to a child, etc. Sometimes, injuries caused by others are not intentional.

  • Injured by the various events of life or traumatized by unfortunate events: accidents, incidents, circumstances, deaths, tragedies, natural disasters.

  • Wounded by thoughts sent by the devil and demons : condemnations, insults. This concerns those who worship them, who believe or accept their words, who ignore or reject the word of GOD.

  • Wounded by ourselves :

    • Ignorance, misinterpretation, or disproportionate interpretation of GOD's will, unanswered prayer,

    • Pride, jealousy, false reasoning, disappointment at failure or unfulfilled goals,

    • Erroneous or disproportionate interpretation of a word, attitude, action or event,

    • Difficulty forgiving oneself or accepting forgiveness from GOD.

Soul wounds are classified into seven groups: rejection, abandonment, non-recognition, betrayal, injustice, humiliation and abuse. Just as the physical body can have many wounds, so can the soul.

3. Wounds: rejection, abandonment, and non-recognition

Abandonment and non-recognition are forms of rejection. That's why, in Christian circles, we often speak of rejection rather than abandonment or non-recognition.

Causes (non-exhaustive list) :

  • Feeling of not belonging to a group with which you identify. I insist "a group with which you identify", otherwise it's not rejection.

  • Adoption (local or international) badly experienced, improperly managed or poorly explained.

  • False teachings, false reasoning, and erroneous or incomplete understandings of GOD's word, leading people to believe that GOD rejects them and that GOD makes gender or racial distinctions.

  • Sectarian teachings on self-rejection, racial supremacy, rejection or hatred of others.

  • Parental absence during childhood (death, work, professional moves, ministries, social or political responsibilities, etc.).

  • Unhealthy comparisons and competitions in family, making children feel that they are never good enough, never doing enough.

  • Conflicting parental separation (children of divorced or separated couples)

  • Sudden or unexplained separation of a family member (death, abandonment, repatriation, prison, health, addiction, domestic violence, military service). The point is not to judge whether the reason is justified or not, but to understand how the child (or the teenager) perceives it.

  • Difficulty grieving the death of a loved one

  • A feeling of abandonment after the departure of a loved one from the family home (e.g. empty nest syndrome)

  • Lack of communication, deprivation of the right to speak or express oneself.

  • Lack of support or guidance from family and friends during an important event or after a tragedy. Examples: absence of family during important matches, children who are victims of aggression (sexual, verbal, physical) but are not listened to by adults or older brothers.

  • An actual or perceived feeling of not being loved by those around them. Examples include academic performance, weight, physical appearance, tattoos, past lifestyle, speech difficulties, and circumstances of conception or adoption.

  • Deficit (real or perceived) of unconditional love. Example: people surrounded by people who are only interested in their money.

  • Lack of recognition (needs, qualities, victories, successes).

  • School harassment, slander, mockery, persecution, racism, discrimination on the grounds of health, disability (e.g. autism) or social status.

  • A feeling of being a burden on loved ones (children and adults with disabilities).

  • Constant feeling of intellectual (intellectual loneliness) or emotional lag. Particularly gifted children, brothers and sisters with significant age differences, and adolescents with high emotional or intellectual potential. The discrepancy comes from the fact that we feel alone, that we have no common hobbies, no edifying discussions, and that we are bored in the discussions. In the long run, either we feel rejected because we have the impression that the other does not try to understand us, or we unconsciously reject the other because we do not find interest in the relationship.

Manifestations :

  • Fear of being rejected, abandoned, unrecognized or uncelebrated.

  • Lack of self-esteem, inferiority complex.

  • Blaming your adoptive parents for the separation from your biological parents.

  • In the case of a blended family, accuse your parent's spouse of being responsible for your parents' divorce.

  • Rejection of self or identity (e.g. skin discoloration), emotional immaturity.

  • A Habit of denigrating or minimizing self.

  • Tendency to impose roles (e.g. seeing friends as surrogate parents, declaring oneself someone's best friend without consent).

  • Fear of attachment: excluding oneself from a group or excluding others, preferring to be the author of rejection rather than suffer it.

  • Engaging in relationships for the wrong reasons (friendships, engagement, marriage), accepting responsibilities or promotions for the wrong reasons. For example, because you're afraid of disappointing others, or because you want to make up for a lack of self-esteem with the attention of others (admiration, compliments, congratulations, encouragement, gifts).

  • Feeling rejected when friends are not or no longer available.

  • Withdrawal, isolation, low self-esteem (impostor syndrome), fear of expressing oneself, fear of disappointment, inferiority complex, and difficulty in saying NO.

  • Self-pity, disproportionate sensitivity to the opinions of others, unhealthy jealousy, emotional dependence, or emotional emptiness (the need to be constantly appreciated, encouraged, reassured, and valued by others).

  • Alcoholism, drug addiction, perfectionism, disproportionate risk aversion, or lack of initiative.

Examples from the Bible :

  • Rejection was Adam and Eve's first wound after they ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6-13). I precise long before they were driven out of the garden.

  • The man lying for thirty-eight years before the pool of Bethesda (John 5:5-9)

  • JESUS has repeatedly been rejected by men (in every sense of the word), but he was never and will never be, hurt by their rejection.

    • As GOD, he cannot be hurt, because he is perfectly and inextricably Love, Truth, Holiness, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Transcendent, Immutable. He is self-existent. He does not need Men to exist, express or love Himself. Even before the Apostle Simon Peter denied him, he already knew this, and it didn't hurt him ( Luke 22:32-34).

    • As a man, he didn't have and never will have a sinful nature. The only time his soul was wounded was just before his death, when the FATHER parted with him. He said, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" which means, "My GOD, my GOD, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27 : 46). He said " why have you forsaken me " and not " why have you denied me " because GOD never lies, therefore GOD never denies.

4. Wounds: betrayal, injustice, humiliation, and abuse

It is common for these injuries to be preceded or accompanied by at least one rejection injury.

Causes (non-exhaustive list) :

  • Betrayals, marital infidelities, polygamous homes, humiliations, mockery, unfair treatment.

  • Bitterness towards GOD after a tragedy.

  • Feeling of not receiving or not having received from GOD what you deserved.

  • Disappointment after an unanswered prayer or a delayed answer.

  • Misunderstanding of the Word on what forgiveness is and what forgiveness is not, results in the belief that to forgive is to justify evil, that GOD approves of evil, or that his judgment is partial.

  • Occasional or repeated abuse (threats, blackmail, verbal, physical or sexual violence, food deprivation) against oneself, a loved one, or a people with whom one identifies.

  • Neglect by parents, at school, or in retirement homes.

  • Persecution, Treatment unworthy (humiliation) or perceived as unworthy (pride and education) of social rank, status, title, circumstance, or relationship.

  • Broken promises or commitments.

  • Lack of support justified, unjustified (disloyalty, betrayal), or perceived as unjustified (pride, pretension) by the wounded person. Because GOD never lies, I don't believe in loyalty that consciously goes against GOD's principles.

Manifestations :

  • Fear of being betrayed, humiliated, treated unfairly, or mistreated.

  • Refusing to talk to GOD or pray about a specific subject because you think GOD doesn't want to do it.

  • Lack of self-esteem, inferiority complex.

  • Accepting violent behavior for fear of making things worse.

  • Anger when others express different ideas or preferences. Refusal to recognize the difference between listening and approving, respect and fear.

  • Constant distrust of others' benevolence: thinking that others are benevolent because they expect something in return.

  • Inability to admit when you're wrong, the tendency to manipulate others, to be constantly accusatory, and to impose your ideas and opinions without explanation.

  • Perfectionism, fear of being vulnerable, aversion to group work, and the habit of devaluing others.

  • Thinking or believing you're appreciated more for what you do than for who you are.

  • Refusing help from others when you need it just because you don't want to be in debt. I recognize that there is help that must be refused, because it is either contrary to GOD's will, to Kingdom values, or ill-intentioned. I'm for self-reliance and personal development. I'm self-taught in many areas. But when a person systematically refuses help when he/she really needs it, it's because he/she is wounded and prideful.

  • Self-punishment - masochistic, the tendency to infantilize others and despise their emotions.

  • Bitterness and jealousy.

  • Inability to trust.

Examples from the Bible :

  • Jacob's sons (Dinah's brothers) confront the attitude of Shechem's father (Genesis 34).

  • Absalom after Amon raped Tamar (2 Samuel 13).

  • JESUS has been betrayed, beaten, humiliated, mistreated, and treated unjustly, but he has never and will never be wounded in his soul by them.

    • As GOD, he cannot be wounded, for he is perfectly and inextricably Love, Truth, Holiness, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Transcendent, Immutable. He is self-existent. He does not need Men to exist, express or love Himself.

    • As a man, he did not have and never will have a sinful nature. The only time he was wounded in his soul was just before his death when the FATHER parted with him. He said, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" - that is, "My GOD, my GOD, why have you forsaken me? " (Matthew 27:46). JESUS never had and will never commit a sin. He carried our sins (1 Peter 2:24, 2 Corinthians 5:21) so that we might be justified.

5. Wounds and temperaments: avoiding extremes and jumping to conclusions

We are more or less resistant to certain physical illnesses, depending on our genes, blood type, environment, habits (diet, rest, exercise, lifestyle), and management of our emotions and feelings. Similarly, temperament, understanding of the Word, education, sensitivities (affectivity, empathy, spiritual sensitivity), cultural and social environment can more or less expose us to certain wounds of the soul.

However, extremes and hasty conclusions should be avoided. Just because an introvert is less expressive than an extrovert or stands apart from a group doesn't mean they suffer from rejection. He may have other priorities, may not share the group's hobbies and interests, or may feel uncomfortable with the group's habits. It could be that the band is bad company. Similarly, it is not because an extrovert is more expressive than an introvert that we should automatically deduce that he has an emotional dependence. It is not because a person is benevolent that one should think that he /she is in love or interested.

Benevolence is not synonymous with intimacy, familiarity is not synonymous with excessive familiarity and formal address is not synonymous with condescension (contempt). I know that the interpretation of the “ you (tu in french)” and the “you (formal adressing)” differs from one culture to another. I do not encourage misplaced familiarity, nor unauthorized familiarity. But I dare to believe that as Christians, we understand that substance is more important than form. We are ambassadors of CHRIST within our cultures and not representatives of our cultures within the Kingdom.

Personality is made up of two elements: temperament (innate) and character (acquired). Temperament is given by GOD (introvert vs. extrovert) at birth. Temperaments are usually classified into 4 groups (Dominant, Influential, Stable, Conscientious) according to the DISC. model. Character reflects the state of the soul. It is the extent to which the soul manifests the fruit of the SPIRIT mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control). There are no bad temperaments, but there are bad characters. Character isn't innate, it's acquired. It is formed through social learning (family role models, friendships, culture), cognitive learning (teachings, experiences, history) and beliefs (faith and ideals). Sometimes, as a result of injury, psychiatric illness or demonic influence, people behave in ways that are the opposite of their temperament. Once the demon has been cast out and the soul restored, the temperament manifests itself.

6. Wounds are not excuses for hurting others (being hurt doesn't take away responsibility)

❖ But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. (Ezechiel 18:24, NIV)

People do not despise a thief if he steal to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. (Proverbs 6 : 30-31, SG21)

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for GOD’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the LORD. (Romans 12:19, NIV)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of CHRIST, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10, NIV).

Some people behave as if being hurt gives them the right to hurt others. Among other things, they are bitter, distrustful, afraid of being hurt or betrayed.

For example, they say: "I'm speaking harshly to you because I want you to understand and make rapid progress. I admit the joke was bad, but I wasn't addressing you personally. Instead of making remarks about my behavior (character) you should crucify your flesh. I've already been betrayed in the past I don't want history to repeat itself."

Then there are the common examples of parents who constantly speak ill of their in-laws, ex-spouses or their partner's ethnicity in front of the children.

I wrote some examples from everyday life, but even towards the Body of CHRIST, we can see this kind of attitude. Preachers who, because they don't know the difference between religion, fanaticism, identity and culture, say anything and everything about Africans, Asians, whites, blacks, Arabs, Palestinians, Israelis, Jews and Muslims. Prudent is the one who is careful to avoid mistakes and is not hasty in his choices, words and actions. Distrustful is he who has an unfavorable opinion of his neighbor without questioning the HOLY SPIRIT, without proof and without reason. Wise is the one who discerns evil and steers clear of it.

Do you give someone permission to steal because they've been ripped off? Of course not. Just as forgiving is not approving evil, being hurt is no excuse for committing evil. Whatever the circumstances, GOD will always choose Love, Truth and Holiness. He does not use the devil's methods. We've made mistakes, we may make mistakes, and we're sure to make mistakes. But there's a difference between being willing to improve and refusing to change. Not lying, not stealing, not killing, honoring, being kind and separating ourselves from bad company are commandments, not suggestions. GOD doesn't normalize what is dysfunctional, he fixes what is dysfunctional.

7. Ask the HOLY SPIRIT

❖ (Isaiah 1:6, KJ21) : " From the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. "

❖ (Psalms 147:3, KJ21) : " He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. "

🙂 Does your character reflect CHRIST or your wounds? Are you fulfilled, happy and at peace in your relationship with GOD? I'm not asking if your life is perfect, if all your prayers are answered, if you're fulfilling your destiny, or if you're keeping the Ten Commandments. I repeat my question: are you fulfilled, happy and at peace in your relationship with GOD? How far do you trust GOD? Is there anything you find hard to give thanks for? Are you bitter, regretful or sad about GOD?

🙂 Having good self-esteem is important. But having GOD's esteem is better. Self-esteem is the value you place on yourself. GOD's esteem is the value GOD gives you. Self-esteem doesn't need to devalue others to value yourself. GOD's esteem doesn't wait for the victories and approval of others to assert itself. Where do you stand? Are you punishing yourself, blaming yourself, condemning yourself, planning your suicide, slowly killing yourself? Are your relationships with others motivated by love, by a sincere desire to be like CHRIST and do good for others, or by fear of injury?

Don't answer these questions hastily, ask the HOLY SPIRIT. He knows you better than you know yourself. He knows if your soul is wounded right now. If so, he knows where the wound is. The soul is the seat of will, emotions, feelings and reflection. A wound affects at least one of these areas. The HOLY SPIRIT knows whether your wound is a live wound or a contusion (a wound without apparent seriousness, produced by a shock without tearing the skin). He knows if this injury affects your movements, reasoning, feelings or relationships (your relationship with him, with yourself, with others). He knows if you need oil, a bandage or a dressing. He knows what you need to heal, and he knows how he can use you to heal someone. He knows what you need to let go of / tear away / confront to become the best version of yourself 🙂 Receive the assistance of the HOLY SPIRIT, be blessed and healed.

** Shalom alekhem (שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם ) = Hebrew greeting, meaning peace be upon you.

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