Why do we do what we do not wish to do? We engage in behaviors that are unhealthy. We react to problems with emotions that we would rather not feel. Why do the people that we love act in their own irrational ways? They make decisions that do not make sense to us and seem like attacks on us or obviously self-destructive.
The reason why we do not experience the abundant life that we want, that we do not have the relationships we want, that we do not experience the lack of stress and anxiety that one would assume accompanies walking with the God of the universe is our wounding.
Throughout the Bible, the people of God fragment and fracture, from themselves and from God. The Bible tells the story of how God repairs and restores those fractures. The same work needs to be done in our hearts and minds.
When we are young, we always experience wounding. As children, we have difficulty emotionally processing most things or avoiding making sweeping generalizations about the world or ourselves. As we grow, defense mechanisms form to protect those wounds. Those can be things like working too hard to feel in control, running away or shutting down in relationships that press on our wounds, or distracting ourselves from pain with vices or media.
The defense mechanisms often multiply to protect the consequences of other defenses. For example, someone might have an inadequacy wound, then run from a relationship where they feel inadequate as a defense, then become frustrated and angry when justifying the reasons for leaving the relationship.
The answer to every problem in life is to go deeper into God’s love and healing. Finding the lies, the wounds, the vows and agreements, and surrendering them to God is the only way to decrease the intensity and impact of the defense mechanisms for any real length of time. And when we surrender our hurts to God, we carve out pathways that the ones we love can follow. It gives them hope that they can change their lives in meaningful ways as well.
When we open the door to God’s healing love, it allows us to find more of the unity and peace that escapes so many people in this world. And that is the point where we start to do more of the things we want to do.
What does that look like practically? Find someone that knows how to help people find blind spots, discover wounds, and unite the fractured parts of us and you will find more abundant life than you thought possible.