Relapse •Devotion #4: Addiction and Abuse

I think it’s safe to say that we all have a scar of some sort that marks a time in our lives with a story to tell. It is also probably safe to say that if we have had one from childhood, we may have gotten it while doing something that we should not have been doing. Maybe you have a scar from a tragic experience and are thankful to be here to share its story. Maybe you have a scar that is not visible in the flesh but lies deep within your emotions. Relationships can leave scars, the ones that are difficult to talk about because of the pain that they still carry, often from some type of abuse. For those of us who have suffered from the unseen scars know that they tend to resurface when we least expect it. They tell their story through anxiety, fear, insecurity, and even depression. Every believer has a story to share, a “testimony” of where you were without Christ, and who you are now with Him. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we are told that we are a new creation – The old has passed away and the new has come. 

I was given a book many years ago called, “Your Scars are Beautiful to God” by Sharon Jaynes. The book is written to help those with emotional scars to find peace and purpose in the hurts of their past. I will be honest, I have not read it cover to cover, but the second chapter, “Recognizing Jesus Through Our Scars,”had a huge impact on me.

The author goes to John 20:19-20 and describes the encounter that Jesus had with His disciples after His resurrection. They were all gathered together in a room when Jesus appeared in their midst and spoke to them, but they did not know who He was. In order to convince them that He was the risen Christ, He held out His arms and revealed His nail-pierced hands. It was then that they recognized Him. The point of the chapter was for believers who have experienced healing from past wounds to not be ashamed to show their scars to the world. In doing so, they are able to share how there is a healing process through Christ.

We have a choice in how we let our scars from the past affect our families and our lives moving forward. We could allow them to produce fear and anxiety, or we could allow God to use them for good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” It is not the scars from our past that defines us, it is who we are now in Christ that tells our story. Sharing it allows us to tell others of His provisions, His mercy, His peace, and ultimately His love. Revelation 12:11 (NKJV) adds, “They overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb by the word of their testimony”. Chapter 3 of Jaynes’ book concludes by saying, “God is calling us to not be ashamed of our scars, for it is by those very scars that others will recognize the Savior, Jesus Christ.” 

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