By Chris Cunningham
Local Outreach Coordinator, Grand Canyon University
When a serious relationship ends, you don’t get the job you applied for or you lose a loved one, have you ever been told that time heals all wounds?
Keeping Up in Today’s Fast-Paced World
First, I think it’s important to remember that, most of the time, advice like this comes from well-meaning people who simply don’t have the tools or the capacity to deal with certain emotional issues. This stems from a nationwide (and some would even say a worldwide) problem with grief and mourning properly.
America is the most fast-paced, rapidly progressing culture that may have ever existed. This aggressive expansion and ever-moving forward motion has brought about a lot of good.
However, it’s also birthed a generation of people who tend to view tragedy, emotional and physical trauma, grief and even mental illness as obstacles to be quickly torn down before they can hinder our progress as people, a business or even a church.
As a nation, we’ve essentially glossed over our history. We’ve naively embraced the “time heals all wounds” slogan, while neglecting the fact that “those who don’t understand their past are doomed to repeat it.”
Embracing the Suffering and Pain
In Scripture, this concept of honestly assessing our past is expressed in terms of living in the light of God:
This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all [a] sin (1 John 1:5-7).
In John’s letter, he uses this idea of walking in the light to express a deep truth that many have conveniently overlooked. Walking in the truth means living honestly. It means accurately assessing our lives and working to live in line with the truth, for better or for worse.
Those of us who’ve wronged others must take ownership for our choices and allow those we’ve wronged the freedom to deal with our actions however they choose, in hopes of greater healing.
Those who’ve been victims shouldn’t downplay the negative impact that trauma, abuse, loss and betrayal have on them. Simply ignoring these things for an extended period of time cannot bring about healing. If you’ve been abused, harmed, shamed, abandoned or neglected, it is never too late to talk with someone and begin the journey to restoration. This may look like getting counseling or scheduling appointments with a professional who can help you rightly understand what’s happened to you.
Accepting Healing Through Him
In Scripture, John points out that, when we talk about the wrong we’ve done and the wrongs done to us, we’re saying the same thing about injustice, evil and sin as God. To confess is to bring all of our baggage, the good, the bad and the unspeakable, into the light.
John reminds us that the blood of Jesus was spilled for those who are willing to take this excruciating step towards the light. Brother, no matter how much blood you’ve shed, bring it to the light; Jesus’ blood was shed for your forgiveness. Sister, God’s eyes see your deep wounds; His heart breaks with you. Bring your wounds to the light; Jesus’ blood was spilled for your freedom.
Don’t believe that the further you get from your past, the greater the healing you’ll experience. I think Worth Kilcrease nails it in his article on this same topic:
The point here, though, is that time does NOT heal all wounds. A more apt saying is ‘IT’S WHAT YOU DO WITH THE TIME THAT HEALS.’
Chris helps guide Grand Canyon University students through the Office of Spiritual Life. If you’d like to learn more about Spiritual Life at GCU, please visit our website.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.
About Department of Spiritual Life
Spiritual Life weekly devotionals are weekly encouragement and Scripture to give you reminders of what it means to live a Christian lifestyle, how to keep God in your daily thoughts, the importance of leaning on God through the hard times and much more! Come back for weekly encouragement in the Lord.