Are we as humans deeply flawed or are we just deeply wounded and damaged? This is a question I have been trying to process and understand lately. Surely this is a question that will take much time, and never be fully realized until we reach our final destination becoming perfect and like Jesus. I invite your opinions, understanding and feedback. This question has risen out of my quest and journey to find Truth and discover who God made me to be. It is easy to look at myself as junk, messed up, a disaster, hopeless, and just stuck with this flawed picture of me. What you see is what you get, and who I or others perceive me to be is the real me, an unchangeable reality. My personality, makeup, DNA, is set in stone, so I just need to understand my tendencies, laugh at them, and accept them. In the last several years God has been showing me how flawed this perception of me and others is. His desire is for me to see myself as He created me to be, a masterpiece, created in his image. To go back and find the “song” He put in my heart as a child and find that little “boy” that He painstakingly, meticulously, lovingly, and creatively knit together in my mother’s womb. As I contemplate my life and journey, I have found that there is so much Hope. I am not deeply flawed, just deeply wounded and damaged as is all of humanity. It is not an irreversible condition, but one that can obtain healing and be used for incredible good by my ‘Good, Good, Heavenly Father.
In Genesis 1:27, we are told we are made in God’s image and that when God looked back at His creation of us, He saw it as good? Has this changed? Has God suddenly become an imperfect creator who now makes faulty, broken, unlovable, and deeply flawed humans? Does He now look at all His creation with disgust and turn His face from us?
Psalms 139:13-16 NIV
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
These verses seem to paint a different picture and ones we need to ponder on. Our creator meticulously designed us with great excitement and anticipation. Earthly parents’ excitement pales in comparison to God’s Joy at our birth. If you have ever built, or created, a project, piece of art etc, there is often excitement at the finished project. Our creations may have beauty and be creative, but they are always imperfect. This is not the case with God’s creation. It was and is good. We are not experiments gone horribly bad. Jeremiah 29:11 states that God’s plans for us are not to bring us harm, but for us to prosper, giving us a hope and a future.
God has been teaching me that He created us good, perfect, and His masterpiece, but we have been stained from the fall, inheriting a sin nature that is not from Him, but our adversary, and enemy. Jesus has come to make us new creatures, giving us a new heart, overcoming and dealing with our sin nature that damages us and others. He wants to heal us and teach us how to care for each other. This sin nature we inherit, begins to wound, and damage us sometimes as early as in our mothers’ wombs. These hurts can be things we never received that we needed such as love, identity, safety, stability, companionship, value, etc. We also have unrealistic expectations and use pressure to wound and damage. Sinful people damage people. We can’t give what we don’t receive. They can come from wounded parents, other people, and our environments and cultures. All of us collect and carry these wounds into our lives and relationships causing lots of disfunction and keeping us from being the masterpiece God intended.
In my last sermon, on Father’s Day I spoke of the importance of how we view God and ourselves. In the story of Job, satan’s intent was to get Job to question God’s intentions and to become offended at God for his circumstances. Today that is still his intent and tactic. Not only does he want us to become offended at God, and not to trust but to also question ourselves, and our value. He wants us to see ourselves as hopelessly flawed, but that is a lie. This spiritual battle is between light and darkness and evil and good. God’s intent is to allow our circumstances to work for our good as Romans 8:28 states. Satan is a liar and wants to deceive us resulting in doubt, offense, and an absence of Faith and trust. When we are wounded, we build walls to protect ourselves from the pain we have experienced. These walls meant to block out the pain, also keep out all the good from coming out to our family and others. They cause separation, conflicts, hurt, damage, and a costly, lethal, repetitive cycle.
God has been showing me how He wants to come in and heal those wounds, so I can live in healthy relationships, not tied to the past, and so I can give to others what they need and were designed to receive. To rediscover the “child” within and the “song” God originally put in my heart. For example, God revealed to my wife a picture of her as a young child spontaneously, and joyfully doing cartwheels in the yard. At some point that little girl became more damaged, and life became complicated, resulting in anxiety. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to go back to our “playful” childhood and rediscover and live-in freedom as God intended? I think it is vitally important that we go back and allow God to heal us from those wounds, showing us pictures of His love and care, so we can in turn care for others and allow Him to put the finishing touches on His masterpiece, us.
Last week we had the privilege of observing and participating in an internship in caring for our and others’ hearts. What we observed was nothing short of incredible miracles, healing, and restored relationships. These relationships were among the most heartbreaking, pain-filled, abusive, seemingly hopeless, situations humanly possible. It broke our hearts as we shed many tears, but our mourning was turned to joy as we observed God, heal, love, and repair the unrepairable, bringing emotional intimacy, connection, security, trust, and a connection with Him. Yes, we may be damaged, but we are never beyond hope. Every relationship can be repaired, and healing can take place. God placed within us His dream of a church, community, and world that is free of wounds, damage, and where relationships are vibrant and thriving breathing life, intimacy, joy, and pleasure. Wherever you find yourself, I pray you are encouraged and motivated to seek healing from the Father. You are not alone, but highly valued and important.