The Scars That Shape Us

My hands have three noticeable scars. Each one is the result of the misuse of a knife. Each one has taught me something. Each one has shaped the way I handle a knife currently.

Scars shape us. I know of people who have large scars from surgery and those who have injuries from accidents. They are physical reminders of pain and hurt along with the joy of being alive.

What is true physically is also true emotionally and spiritually. Those deep hurts we have felt in our souls are also part of what God uses to shape us if we allow him.

These are some of the biggest incidents that God has used to shape me.

1. Loss of Loved Ones
I have lost two people in my life whom I loved deeply. Along with those losses have come a number of other friends who have passed. Each time I have lost someone it has changed the way I treat the rest of the people in my life. It has made me more loving and sympathetic. Loss has a way of making us either bitter or better.

2. Self-inflicted wounds
I will not list all the sins I have committed that have shaped me. Let’s just say I have done some incredibly sinful and stupid things in my life. Each time it has left a deep scar on my soul. These experiences drive me to grace. I have become more dependent on the grace of God and more grace filled in my handling of other people. Sin can either dull our senses or wake us up to God.

3. Lies of leaders
Unfortunately, I have experienced the pain of watching leaders, mentors, and teachers fall. The same sin that caught me at times has also caught them. It is hard to watch someone you deeply care about make enormous mistakes. Sadly, it happens on a regular basis. These situations can remind us of the vulnerability of us all and the need for a close walk with God.

4. Friendly fire
Many well-intentioned Christians have said some very hurtful things. When this happens, it feels like a bullet rips away a little piece of your soul. Occasionally people have given up on their faith because of the careless words of others. Incidents like these can push us to become more forgiving people. They force our hand at either anger or grace.

5. The presence of nothing
Numerous times I have been hurt because the people I know did nothing. They didn’t come to speak with me when I was hurting. They didn’t say anything negative in my situation, but they didn’t help either. They watched me drowned from the side of the pool and just walked away. Some of my greatest pains have come from the absence of love and concern. These hurts are the type that reminds me to always show my compassion. They teach me to speak words of truth and love wherever God places me. They teach me not to turn a blind eye to those who are hurting because it will just cause more pain.

My soul is scared. Some deep emotional cuts will never completely disappear. I hate that they happened, but God in his mercy has used those situations to teach me and mold me into a more Christlike person.

Our scars shape our lives. The pain of scars can make us better people or bitter, angry people. How have your hurts changed your life? How will your injuries shape you?

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