Do you have any physical scars? A sports injury perhaps, a childhood accident, or an operation?
How about spiritual scars? What? Spiritual scars? What are those you might ask? How does someone get spiritual scars? Well, let’s see what the Bible has to say about it.
It’s ongoing spiritual surgery, but when I get to heaven one day I will wear those scars proudly.
Read 1 Peter 4:14 – 16
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
Therefore, spiritual scars are the sufferings we endure, the price that we sometimes pay for being a follower of Christ. It could be rejection by your family, friends, boy/girlfriend, etc., because you are living your life for Christ, and they don’t like it. It could be getting a bad grade in your science class because, unlike your biology teacher, you don’t believe in evolution. Maybe you can’t, in good conscience, keep your job because the business you work for promotes un-Christian policies. While spiritual scars can be painful, they are actually good scars to have because they show that we are walking closely and faithfully with Jesus. They represent the cost of discipleship.
Unfortunately, a lot of us are relatively “scar free” in this area of our lives! A few questions to consider:
What holds us back?
What does the Lord require of us? Obedience (John 14:15)
What do we give Him Partial obedience (which really means disobedience!)
What are some ways that we compromise in our obedience to God?
– We go to church depending on who else is going and if we got enough sleep last night.
– We jump on the social issue of the day rather than basing our positions on the Word of God (e.g., sex before marriage is OK if we love each other, abortion is a right, there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, all religions lead to heaven, etc.)
– Tithing (giving what’s convenient vs. sacrificially).
– Serving out of guilt rather than joy.
– Making it all about me instead of all about God.
So what does the Lord expect us to do? It’s actually pretty straightforward.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
1 Peter 2:9-12
What marching orders are we are given in these verses?
1. Declare Who Christ is and what He is has done.
2. Clean up our lives.
3. Do good things.
It really is that simple…and that challenging! But it is worth it!
I had my appendix removed several years ago and I still carry the scar. The scar reminds me that something bad, something diseased, something harmful inside of me was removed. The spiritual scars that I carry today remind me of the same. They remind me that the darkness of my sins have been removed from me as far as the east is from the west. The disease of selfishness has been replaced by sacrifice; fear has been replaced with trust. The things that get in my way and hinder my walk with Christ give way to service to God and to others instead. Desperation has been turned to joy. It’s ongoing spiritual surgery, but when I get to heaven one day I will wear those scars proudly.
So are you walking in obedience to Christ?
Do you have the spiritual scars to prove it?