The Lies, Wounds, and Empty Places that Messed You Up

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The human heart is not a pretty place, at least not after living in this world for any length of time. Imagine pulling the coverings off your inner being; what does it look like inside? But you didn’t decide to get messed up. There are lies, wounds, and empty places inside that bring you pain and that Jesus wants to make whole.

Looking at these parts of you can feel difficult. But remember that Jesus looks at your story and your heart with both honesty and compassion. He knows it all; you know that. But in knowing it all He doesn’t say, “How deplorable you are! Get yourself together, and then maybe we’ll talk.” Not at all.

Instead, He’s saying, “I see you, all of you. This is what’s going on. Let’s deal with this together.”

So let’s look at the lies you’ve come to believe, the wounds you’ve accumulated, and the empty places still unfilled that messed you up in so much of your heart.

Lies You’ve Come to Believe

Your brain “knows” in at least two ways. There’s the factual knowledge your left brain learns such as your spouse’s or best friend’s birthday, or that 1 John 1:9 promises that God forgives those who confess their sins.

But there’s also the experiential knowledge your right brain learns. If caller ID were blocked you’d know your spouse or best friend was calling the instant you heard their voice. You have an internal sense of whether or not your sins are forgiven, and you may have found that rehearsing Scripture doesn’t by itself always change your inner feelings.

We all come to believe lies. And it’s the unstated or unrecognized lies that often become the most powerful. I’ll never be good enough. I must have a good sex life if I’m to be happy. The world is dangerous so I must protect myself.

How do you combat those lies? Remember how you learned to recognize your spouse’s or best friend’s voice. It wasn’t by stuffing facts into your brain about them; it was by experiencing them. You spent time with them.

Here are a few ways to combat the lies you’ve come to believe:

  • Marinate in an applicable portion of Scripture, not to learn the facts presented but to saturate your soul with the experiential emotional reality of what God’s word says about your problem.
  • Be honest with yourself, a few safe people, and Jesus about what your soul believes.
  • Intentionally allow a few safe people and Jesus to speak a different perspective to you long enough that you begin to believe it.

And knowing the truth will set you free (John 8:32)!

Wounds You’ve Accumulated

Not one of us comes through life unscathed. Satan and his kingdom of darkness make certain of that. Jesus never promised we would not get wounded while living in this sinful messed-up world. In both large and small ways we’ve all been hurt.

Some of those wounds happened to you through absolutely no fault of your own. And some of those wounds you perpetrated on yourself through the very ways you responded to what happened to you.

Jesus is much less concerned with parsing out blame than He is with inviting you into a process of transformation where your own wounds become healed and you become a person who no longer harms yourself or others.

God’s telehealth services are not like any you may have experienced in seeing your doctor or counselor during this pandemic season. The old gospel song is true: “Jesus on the main line, tell Him what you want.” However, we too often think God reaches out and “zaps” us from afar.

But Jesus’ answer for your woundedness is not some thing; instead, He offers you Himself. He came to be with us (Matthew 1:21). You must allow Him to come close if you want to be changed. Desiring healing or comfort or provision or blessings without wanting Him is a no go. He does not provide the answer; He becomes the Answer. More than any thing, He is the comfort and healing you need.

When Jesus shows up things change. Your brokenness cannot remain the same in His presence.

So your job is to keep coming back into His presence. You can ask all the Why questions, yell or scream or cry all you want. But just keep coming back. Your wounds will become healed so that the sting is gone and you become a testimony to what He can do.

The Empty Places Still Unfilled

You were born empty, looking for ways to get filled up. You may have experienced parents who nourished you physically and in other ways, and you experienced being satisfied. It’s more likely there were many ways in which you did not get your needs met. And you learned to either shut down and deny your needs or to voraciously go after the soul equivalent of salt water to satisfy your thirst.  Tweet that.

“The world, the flesh, and the devil” provide plenty of shiny options that promise instant gratification. Money, physical beauty or strength, fame, adventure, gambling, sex, drugs, alcohol–and the list goes on. Your need for connection and intimacy is one of the deepest, and all these lesser lovers never truly satisfy. Even the healthiest marriage is not enough; if Adam looks to Eve to fill him up he will be disappointed. Eve can never be satisfied if she expects Adam to be her everything.

On top of that, you are leaky. Like your body that needs physical food daily, your soul needs nourishment regularly, including connection and intimacy. God doesn’t answer your emptiness with a spiritual IV; learning to feed yourself is an important mark of emotional and spiritual maturity.

And perhaps the most important part of that is learning to bring your emptiness to God Himself. God will never allow you to be completely satisfied with anything or anyone except Himself. Throughout Scripture He describes Himself as a jealous Lover. He made you for Himself, and He won’t allow your heart to find completeness anywhere else. Your God-shaped hole is real.

Becoming Healed and Satisfied

So, things messed you up. But you don’t have to stay that way. Coming to fully believe the truth to replace the lies you’ve come to believe, finding healing from all the wounds you’ve accumulated, and experiencing lasting satisfaction for all the empty places in your soul–that might be a great way to express the promise of the gospel.

That comes with time. And the most important thing to do during that time is be with Jesus.

Your Turn: What are the lies you’ve believed, the wounds you’ve experienced, or the empty places that are yet unfilled that messed you up? Leave a comment below.

Tweeetables: why not share this post?

  • The human heart is messed up. Things messed YOU up. In bringing you transformation Jesus becomes the Answer to the lies you’ve come to believe, the wounds you’ve accumulated, and the empty places in your soul. Tweet that.

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