Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Calluses and Scars

If you are alive and reading this, you have been or will be hurt.

It is unavoidable on this side of the kingdom. We will experience pain, suffering, frustration, and loss. Often the deepest wounds come at the hands of those close to us--an employer, coworker, parent, spouse, child.

Over time, these emotional wounds can become one of two things--scars or calluses.

Scars happen when emotional wounds are left unattended or never fully healed. The residue of scars can be anger, resentment, and bitterness. It's the chip on one's shoulder towards others or God. When we have been wronged by someone in the past and we carry that scar into a new relationship or organization, there is the danger of both indignation and inflicting further hurt on ourselves and others. The sudden blow-up at a spouse or coworker reveals that the scar is quite shallow while the wound is still deep. Scars only show up when we try to heal ourselves or have tried to ignore past hurts.

Calluses, on the other hand, are emotional wounds that have been dealt with care. Over time, through a process of healing, the wound paradoxically strengthens one's heart and soul. Calluses do not lead to callousness. Rather, calluses foster a strong resolve to extend grace and empathy to others in pain, a sense of forgiveness for those who wronged us, and a choice to continue to step into the future without anxiety. This only comes when we realize that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. This hope doesn't disappoint because the love of God has been poured out as a healing salve on the emotional wound. Calluses happen when we allow God to heal and strengthen through His Spirit and the body of believers.

If you're in ministry, you'll be hurt by the church. If you're married, you'll be hurt by your spouse. If you're a human being, you'll be hurt by another human being. It's inevitable. Yet so is God's love, grace, compassion, and hope. All scars can become calluses through His redemptive love, for by His wounds we are healed.

Will your pain produce scars or calluses?

1 comment:

  1. Wow thanks for sharing this Joel. Reflecting on the past I'd have to say I have many scars and calluses on me. Some are self-inflicted while others were unintentionally received.

    The truth and difficult part to admit is that I have caused people calluses, out of the many people probably a handful received scars. Now the only question I ask myself is, "Lord...have those scars turned into calluses on those people?" As you wrote hopefully those scars turn into calluses.

    It's very difficult and probably almost impossible to move from a scar to a callus if it were not for the grace, mercy, and love of our Savior. It's when we learn to forgive and move on that we know we are now working on a callus and not a scar.

    Thanks for sharing this Joel, hope you and your family are doing well. Lord bless.

    Your favorite Mexican,
    Cesar Trevino

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