“Let’s not shoot the wounded!!!” This is a statement that I say to myself almost every day!! Seriously….GUILTY is stamped across my forehead. I want that tattoo forever gone so I have to remind myself daily…”Do not shoot the wounded!”
Allow me to elaborate. Because of wounding and having been wounded….I want to be very transparent….and communicate a truth…especially to those who are Christians. There are things that happen in people’s lives that they didn’t ask for. Actions they take that they later regret. If they could, they would change those actions. The wounds left from those actions could be from recent events or events that happened a decade or two ago in their lives…but to them the “PAIN, GUILT, REGRET, ETC…” can reopen that wound any time they hear the judgements and opinions of others. I am now going to give a REAL LIFE example:
Not once, but twice, since I have written the first book and stepped into God’s call of ministry of writing daily (most days give or take a few…LOL) and posting, I have had two friends, people I love, respect, admire…Godly women…who have families and faithfully serve the Jesus we love… to come to me and open up and share deep, deep, DEEP pain from their past. Both made similar decisions to have abortions when they were young. One had no guidance at home and the other would have been shamed out of her church, community and family if she had chosen differently.
This pain they experienced immediately made me think of a time when I was growing up and a young girl I knew was in a similar situation but made a different choice. I remember how people treated her after she made her choice. They shunned her and I know I did in my mind. I was duplicating what I saw. It sickens me now to look back at how she was treated as lesser than. I am ashamed of myself and the people I looked up to! Today, she is my hero. She took the “road less traveled” in the Christian realm back then!!! She chose life and to live through the ridicule, exclusion and being shamed.
Today, the pain and wounds can be reopened in casual conversations or even in Sunday School classes by people who have no idea. They make assumptions and share their thoughts without realizing that someone…sitting right beside them…is in a quiet prison of pain. They are actually wounding the already wounded and don’t even realize it.
You see, the two women who opened up and shared with me aren’t angry at the people who make the casual comments without taking into consideration that someone in ear shot may have been down that road. They aren’t angry with those who say the most judgmental and insensitive things. They are hurt. They have regret. They know they are forgiven but they can’t change the choices they made.
The comments are “arrows, darts and bullets” Satan uses to continue to accuse…and beat up! Today, I am asking you to look around you. There may be people right around you…sitting by you, standing by you, who have endured or are enduring PAINFUL circumstances and YOU HAVE NO IDEA. BE CAREFUL. BE PRAYERFUL. BE MINDFUL….of your words and your opinions. UNLESS SOMEONE IS asking, don’t give it! We all can have good intentions but they can be misguided…and misunderstood. It is our job to go to God and ask Him to take control over our input and output!
I can think of another situation where a wounded Christian woman was experiencing an extremely difficult situation. She attempted to talk to someone in leadership in her church at that time. She was looking to this person for help and guidance. This person’s response was something along the lines of, “You knew this when you got into this situation!” WRONG….WRONG ….WRONG….answer. I can tell you the response lacked compassion and an unwillingness to help. It is probably one of the most insensitive things I have ever, ever heard someone say.
I am reminded of the story in John 8 when a woman was brought before Jesus and her “dirty laundry” was being aired. The Pharisees were trying to test Jesus. They wanted to know what should be done to her but they really wanted to trap Jesus. In verses 6-11 we find, “…Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.’”
Yes, there is a reaping and a sowing effect. When someone reaches out for help, they have probably reached the point of regret, wanting to change. Our response should be to help pick up the pieces, bandage the wounds….and come alongside with prayer and support, not condemnation. I’ve heard this quote many times and it rings true. “But for the grace of God, go I.” It is easier to point a finger than to help.
Consider today, what if you were in a situation you regret? How would you want others to respond? For me, I am thankful that God is a God of second chances.