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Sep 18, 2022

Unseen Bruises

Unseen Bruises

Speaker: Dr. David Ferguson

Category: Sunday Morning

See how our hurts of the past can keep us stuck.

We all have bruises and can carry around unseen bruises - life bruises, physical bruises, emotional bruises, heart bruises. We react to these and can at times overreact when our bruises are touched. 

Romans 1-6 the story of the natural man. Romans 6:2 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. This verse is God's miracle that moves us from lost to saved. Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This verse begins what we call "life in the Spirit." Romans 7 is called the bridge chapter about the self-man or the carnal man. The apostle Paul was in this place, like all of us. Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. We find ourselves being disrespectful, angry, overeating... we find ourselves doing those these and not doing what we want to... being appreciative, kind, respectful... We get stuck. We need freedom from these things. What are these unseen bruises? 

Three common bruises that are hindering us from getting free from things that we don’t want and free from what Romans 7 talks about. What is the hope? Romans 7:24-25 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! We need to be looking for the person of Jesus, not a what.

When life events happen that intersect with our unseen heart bruises then we will overreact and have unwanted responses. We can’t change life events. We can’t change other people. We can change the bruises that remain unhealed.

Bruise #1 - Partially healed hurt. When something or someone hurts us, we can just stuff it down. These hurt even if unintentional. We can deny and press down these bruises. Example: Dr. and Mrs. Ferguson give the example of playing pool on a morning of the honeymoon. She is hurt; he doesn’t think it’s a big deal. From her perspective, the magnitude of the hurt was big. From his perspective, the magnitude of the hurt was small.

  • Small reaction to the hurt: “I probably shouldn’t have done that.”
  • Later a bigger reaction, “The I hurt you on our honeymoon was really wrong; please forgive me.” Until she can sense that he understands the depth of her pain and hurt, she cannot trust that he won’t do something like that again. We need to have confession and forgiveness based on understanding.
  • So later he said (and the key to healing), “I want you to take as long as you need to take, so I can better understand the depth and breadth of pain I cause you on our honeymoon.” She began to explain how that made her feel. God produced godly sorrow in him. Godly sorrow is from God.

The key to resolving: 2 Corinthians 7:14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I was not put to shame; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so also our boasting before Titus proved to be the truth. James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

To confess is to say the same as God says. We need to see hurts how Jesus sees them. Jesus died for each of us. He will deliver us. Jesus personalized the gospel – He will deliver us. That’s how we heal.

Bruise #2: Growing up hurt. We are all imperfect people and grew up around imperfect family members. We can internalize hurts without knowing it. When issues can’t be resolved, we need to look all the way back to find out where our pain originated. Example: Dr. Ferguson gives the example of his son not being responsible and as a dad not holding him accountable like he did his daughters. He finally realized this partiality for his son stemmed from his childhood and the fear he had of his own dad. He didn’t want to be like his dad. He had grown up hurt and brought it to his own children in the opposite way. Growing up hurt could mean:

  • Having the “opposite” response (as above example).
  • Overreacting to little things – a small event pushed an unresolved bruise from childhood & we overreact.
  • Personalizing most things – taking a response from someone and coming to wrong conclusions.
  • Being anxious or fearful.

The keys to resolving: 2 Corinthians 2:2-4 For if I cause you sorrow, who then makes me glad but the one whom I made sorrowful? This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy would be the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you. Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 1 John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal unhealed hurts and bruises to us. Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. We can keep these unhealed issues unresolved by not sharing the hurt or by sharing the hurt without love. There is a blessing when we hurt – someone comforting us in our pain so we are not alone in our pain. God heals us in intimacy with Him and intimacy with others.

Bruise #3: Wrong Concepts of God How do we picture Jesus in this Bible verse? “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15

  • You can only love the “real” God with all your heart, mind, and soul.
  • Loving “others” is hindered by hindered views of God.

We ALL struggle with seeing God as clearly as we need to. Sometimes our concepts of God can be messed up by our growing up images, irrelevant religion, life events that keep us stuck cause we think God doesn’t care. The Holy Spirit moves us to the next thought – Did God care? God cares. 1) What is the heart of Jesus behind these words of John 14:15? Is he a conditional Jesus? Does God notice me? This is a promise. Jesus is excited to love us! That’s how hurts get healed as God is excited to heal us. Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.


How does unresolved hurt keep us stuck?

What is a partially healed hurt?

How can we see our own or others unresolved hurts or pain?

How have you helped someone overcome hurt or pain?