I may have shared this before, but I really think it’s worth sharing again. My wife and I got into a deep conversation about this whole thing yesterday.

We hear all the time that people are leaving “church” because they are wounded. The answer those wounded people are given is often, “You need to get healed so you can get back into the game!” Meaning, they need to get over their hurts quickly so they join an institutional church and be a functioning member again.

But I think there are two kinds of wounds in life. I think there are sports injuries and learning injuries. Sports injuries are the ones that occur in the game of life. You twist an ankle, you take a blow to the head, so you’re out of the game for a little while. You sit out until you’re healed up and then you jump back into the game. The goal is to get healed so you can get back to what you were doing when you got injured. Some examples of these kinds of injuries are when you stepped out to share Jesus with somebody and experienced persecution. Or you loved a neighbor only to have them betray you. It hurt, and it hurt bad, but you got to go to Jesus and get mended so you can get back in the game.

But the learning injuries are different. A learning injury occurs when a two year old reaches out and touches a hot stove. You don’t tell that two year old, “Let me make it all better so you can touch the stove again!” That’s insane! You’d be a child abuser! The point of that injury is to teach you not to do that again. I think many of the wounds people experience in life are these kinds of wounds. They are allowed by God into our lives to say, “See, that’s a hot stove. Don’t do that again.” Examples of these kinds of wounds are when we are hurt by our own sin, stubbornness or pride. But I also believe much of the pain we experienced while in the institutional church are these kinds of wounds. We messed with a system of man’s design and called it God’s. We took on roles of authority over others we weren’t supposed to or we let others have authority over our lives we were never supposed to give them. We played with a hot stove and we got burned. That being the case, it would be crazy to say, “Get healed and get back in the game!” That’s not the game…that’s a hot stove that we shouldn’t be messing with. The reason we can’t go back is because we’ve learned from our injuries that if you play with fire you’re going to get burned.


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2 Responses to Wounds

  1. robinhebert says:

    Oh man Loren, that is so intense and very insightful. You’re right….I think of the saying, no pain, no gain when it comes to sports injuries….you actually are glad about the pain because it meant you made progress, I guess that’s another type of injury, something that actually causes strength like building muscles. BUT what you said about the hot stove is so true…..people got hurt because what was set up as a means of Christianity was in many cases, man’s way of control over others. Sadly, many are nursing those wounds their entire lives wondering why the church “let them down” instead of realizing it wasnt God’s will for them in the first place.

  2. sacmission says:

    Hey Loren,
    I was JUST thinking about this same topic as well. That example (ur, truth) is very real. Interesting how the institution masks (bandaids) hurt with guilt and confusion. But then again, in order to “play the game” even under the mantra of “whatever it takes” gives a temporary ‘feel good’ to play the game even if it does hurt. This then becomes your “presecution” if you will and there becomes a sense of (temporary) purpose. Those who experience sports injuries (athletes) have this mentality that since you are injured, you’ve let your teamates down because you are not with them in “battle” and getting back to a place of 100% is the #1 priority. I think the system likes this same (literal) mentality because it privides a sense of purpose.

    Those that learn the lesson the hard way that getting burned hurts eveytime you touch the stove and never feels good, the freedom you experience is almost indescribable. As a result of pulling away, experiencing a pain-free life exists but then again, I think the pain of deconstructing away from institutional baggage is almost more painful because you end up having to look at yourself, in a good way. Many would rather “play the game” than have to play the individual reality show. Much more painful so almost easier to ignore it…


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