scar- the result from the process of wound repair in the skin, as well as in other organs and tissues of the body. Thus, scarring is a natural part of the healing process.
2 Cor. 4:5-7 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
On February 22, 2021 I was at a place where many people were exercising. On that specific day there were 3 groups led by fitness instructors. They looked like fitness clubs to me. As I walked, I noticed the large amount of equipment they had and the passion they were putting on getting their physiques fit. It was also evident the effort put in showing it all off. Let’s say a spirit of competition is part of that affair, right? After walking for a while and spending time with the Lord He said to my spirit: “Do you know why people show their physical scars? Because those bring glory to themselves. My people don’t want to show their scars because they bring glory to Me and not themselves. Where are their scars? Tell them to show their scars.” (End of message).
Wow. I kept very quiet thinking about it and of course checking if I had failed on that and how. All words are first for the one who gets them. After some days He gave me a deeper understanding of what He meant, so here’s a teaching I ‘d like to share about it.
Scars in extreme sports or battle, for example, are usually shown like trophies. My dad is a Vietnam Vet and while at the VA Hospital with him, I have seen the way they look at others that have visible scars and handicaps because of battle. There is a sense of admiration and reverence for what those have gone through and understandably so. Their scars talk about themselves. What they’ve been through. Maybe even what they’ve left behind.
Scars reveal an experience they went through and made it. Maybe something they dared to do or even something they did not want to go through (surgery, illness etc.) but did and survived.
They are used as a topic for conversation like when moms that have had C sections to deliver their babies, describe the scars left behind to welcome their kids into the world. Why is that?
Well, mostly because they bring glory to their owner and place them in a place of respect amongst others that may not have had their experience or have had it in a different way. We humans are very much into the task of ranking ourselves among others constantly. Even amid people that engage (or have engaged) in criminal activities (I worked for a while in a prison) I have seen they show scars as trophies.
However, God was not referring to believers showing physical scars to others, but showing the scars left on us (His saved people) when He rescues us from sin, bondage, and a life that was leading us to eternal death. When the Lord heals our wounds, the pain is gone and there are scars left on us that tell a crucial part of our stories. Scars that remind us of who we were and testify of the place from where He rescued us. We are new creation in Him, but we are not to forget where our Lord has gotten us from.
12 Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Deuteronomy 6:12
Why do scars remain?
Why do we remember who we were even when the chains have been broken and there is no burden? They remain so that we don’t exalt ourselves and place our Savior on the sidelines of our lives. So that we glorify Him and stay thankful. So that we watch we don’t stumble.
12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12
And most importantly, so that others who don’t know Him yet, can see what Jesus can do in their lives too.
However, it’s sad that too often followers of Jesus Christ not only want to ignore their scars but go great lengths to hide them from others. Those same scars that they got in spiritual battle when the Lord came to restore and heal their wounds remind us of who we were and what the Lord did in us.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11
I’m not saying we should go around ventilating matters that are sensitive to us because God is still working on them. Hey, it takes most people emotional healing to show physical scars as trophies. To come to the point of accepting the mark left in them.
Neither am I referring to go around confessing our sins and transgressions to others. That’d be unwise, hurtful, and unfruitful. What I believe God wants is for us to testify more about the things He has done in us and less talking about what we are able to do right because He has shown His mercy to us. To concentrate on the “before” and “after” and not only on the “after”. The light spot should always be on Him and when it’s on us it should be because we are showing our trophies, the scars, to others. All glory to Him!
Do you want to evangelize?
Use your scars! Think about this: What do we ask when we see a big physical scar on someone? We usually ask: Does it hurt? Well, the same happens when we share our spiritual trophies with others. And there is no better news to your receptor than to hear you say: “No. They don’t hurt anymore; when Jesus heals, it’s a done deal”. Amen!
At the beginning it may feel weird including our “befores” in our conversations because we follow the pattern we see everyday around us. A pattern of self-promotion. A pattern that has been adopted by many church leaders and modern-day evangelical congregations. Well, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that it is not the pattern taught in the Bible. God’s plan for us is of self-sacrifice, of self-denial. He modeled meekness and always glorified His Father in heaven. But still, the truth is that too often, after Jesus Christ saved us and healed us, we want to hide our past from others. We honestly wouldn’t mind if people thought we were saints. People seeing we have been sanctified…. hmmm, we don’t like that too much.
Saint vs. Sanctified
The Bible calls saved people saints.
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours… 1 Corinthians 1:2
We are separated for the Lord. Nonetheless, it’s not the same to show yourself as a sanctified person (where your scars are exposed), than to show yourself as a saint (scars hidden). When you talk about your sanctification process, there is a full view inclusion of the place where Jesus brought you out of to the place you are now in. Please, be aware of this.
We see in the Bible saints mentioned as sanctified people. Two examples are the Apostle Paul and Mary Magdalene. They were not just saints or people without blemishes. They had been sanctified and bringing that about after their conversion was very important as seen in the following verses:
Acts 22:3-5 (Pauls speaks about his “before” person)
3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. 4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. 5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
Luke 8: 1-3 (in reference to Mary Magdalene’s “before” person)
And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, 2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, 3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
When we fail as Christians to do the same there are sad consequences. Why do you think many times people in need of Christ won’t relate to “church” people and their congregations? Because they feel everyone there is good and holy. And even worst, that they own and have attained their holiness by their effort. An effort people that know themselves to be lost, just can’t pull off, much less be successful in it.
They see people that have so much ownership of everything God that there’s none left for them. People that can even tell others what’s right. People that (to the eyes of the unbeliever) declare good things for themselves in their own authority. However, they never get to hear how THEY got there. In what dark pit hole they existed before Jesus lift them up and saved them.
Where are your scars?
There is no true believer who does not have them.
Let’s not forget how people in the Bible showing theirs have helped us! David, Moses, Peter… we all know in DETAIL about their journeys and how they had to totally surrender to God so that He would lift them up.
Why then do we show ourselves like we have it all under control? All of us know Jesus has worked and will continue to work in us until we get to see Him face to face.
Do we have scars? I do. God saved me from being a liar, also from pride, lust, envy, self-righteousness, and still shows me areas to surrender so that healing can continue. Have I told anyone about my scars? YES! First and foremost, my children. I don’t want them to feel alienated when sins creep into their lives. I want them to know how I got healed, saved, and restored. They need NOT to follow me or what I do. They need to RUN to Jesus.
I have also told the people I teach in Bible Studies as well as random people as the Lord leads me. And you know something? One of the testimonies people dislike the most is telling them I was a church goer, church leader, sang in church, and was also a great liar and deceiver. They don’t like hearing that God told me liars belong to their father Satan. I’m super sure the enemy hates when I get into details about how I had to repent and go through the process of brokenness so that my Lord would make a new person in me. One that just did not know how to concoct a lie. That would go lengths to make sure something I did or said would not be misunderstood or taken as a lie. Just because I loved my Lord so much for saving me, I just did not want to disappoint Him. To explain how this new person HATES everything with the minimal resemblance of a lie and must always keep watchful to stay that way.
I guess people don’t like that one because… they lie and the enemy has them believing that’s a minor thing.
Why is this so important
God uses our lives as a vitrine when people in search for salvation want to see God, know Him. When the Holy Ghost starts telling them:” You’re on your way to hell” or “How long are you going to carry that burden? I’m here… bring it to me.” People start looking out for God. It’s very common these individuals look for what they identify as godly people. Therefore, the Church of God (Body of Christ) should be displaying in their vitrines (lives), not our pretty, “I’ve got it all under control faces”, but our HEALED scars. We should be advertising the MIRACLES God has made in our lives so that those in need would ENTER and ask Jesus for the same treatment…the same medicine, the same mercy, the same healing. His full redemption.
When we hide the miracles He has done in us on the storage area of our lives and put out on the vitrine our “Truman Show” faces, we are actually hindering people’s chances of meeting Jesus: the Savior. They may meet Jesus: the one you mention, but not the one who you surrendered your life to and now represent.
Showing a scar means you must tell the story of how you got healed. In that story the protagonist is always Jesus Christ. The one who allows you to go through the process is the Holy Spirit, and all the glory goes to the Father in heaven in which you will depend forever to keep going forward.
Do you have scars?
A testimony of transformation? A before and after version of you? Well, maybe you are in the process now and if that’s your case… it’s great! Stay there. He’s won that battle and under His care, you will be free indeed, changed forever, a new person. If you are willing to share Him, He will tell you when the right time is to show your scars.
It might be you still need to get into spiritual battle. If there is no battle, there is no victory and you may be talking about a Jesus you really have not met yet. He’s won already the battle over your sin, pain, and spiritual death, but you need to enter spiritual battle. Surrender your spirit, body, and mind to Him. And let Him win over all. Then… when He’s healed your wounds and you can see a scar that does not hurt anymore, don’t hide it. Tell everybody what He’s done for you and give always all the glory to HIM.
There are no saved people without scars to show. He wants… must save you for Him to be your Lord. Will you let Him? I pray you do.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelations 3:20
This blog accompanies my bilingual youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeZpnFuTbKzqh6psnWoFt2g