Feeling depressed, offended, rejected, or having other negative feelings is puzzling to Christians. “Why do I feel like this after I accepted Christ into my heart by faith?” The answer is both simple and yet, challenging. Your spirit is 100% regenerated when you come to believe in Christ and His cross, but something more is often needed, the healing of soul wounds.
Types of Spiritual Wounds
What exactly are soul wounds and how do they form and affect us?
All through our lives, we have experiences. Sometimes we are harmed by the actions of others. We, too, do things that are wrong and those sins leave an effect on us. In our families, there can be recurring, damaging behaviors that keep repeating themselves. Alcoholism is an example. Each of these things can leave a mark or a measure of damage in our souls.
What is the Soul?
Your soul consists of your mind, will and emotions. It is the part of you that produces emotions, decisions, and thoughts. As you experience or participate in negative things in your life, those things leave imprints in your soul. If you had a parent that left your home – in divorce, abandonment, or death, for example – the pain you experienced as a child can remain in your mind as a “wound.”
As a result, in the present, when people seem to be leaving or not accepting you in some way, your reaction to them may actually be an overreaction born out of retained pain. Having been “rejected” before, it seems reasonable, even self-protective to not trust and be suspicious now. The current situation may not truly be abandonment or rejection, but the wound causes you to perceive it as such.
Imagine having been tremendously put down as a child, always made to feel inferior and lacking. As an adult, carrying this wound of criticism makes thinking well of yourself difficult. Compliments or praise that come your way may be hard to accept. Additionally, celebrating others’ successes is a struggle. “Everyone is doing better than I am” thoughts can eat away at peace – and not be true.
All of these (and more) are wounded ways of thinking that destroy your quality of life. Relationships are affected. Intimacy seems elusive because you don’t feel safe as you look at the world through wound “lenses.”
Soul Wounds Affect Your Relationship with God
Most of all, because of soul wounds, your relationship with God and capacity to really flourish as a Christian person are diminished. The wounds keep you preoccupied and inwardly focused in turbulent and repetitive negative thinking. Rather than fully encountering God and receiving all the blessing He has for you, you remain caught up in your ongoing pain and misconceptions.
Do not worry.
All of us go through this to some degree. The good news is God so wants for you to be healed once and for all throughout your being. He wants you to be healed in spirit, soul, and body.
How to Receive the Healing of Soul Wounds
If any of this is sounding familiar to you; if you have times of repeatedly feeling blue, offended, lonely, or “different from everyone else,” it may be that you need some inner healing.
Where do you start?
Sometimes we’re embarrassed as Christians to appear not to have it all together. You may say, “I don’t want to admit that I am jealous often.” Or, “I feel lonely and like I don’t fit in.” We often think Christianity is a “stiff upper lip” lifestyle where you must appear that you have it altogether even if you’re “dying” inside. This is nonsense. Healing and maturing are part of this life like no other. Jesus can heal all things.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
You do not have to tolerate feeling emotionally out of sorts again and again. Besides, the enemy loves this “doorway” into you. When you are struggling with thoughts and emotions, he will throw “fuel on the fire” with whispered lies, exaggerating those moods, and then making you ashamed because of them.
Seeking Help for Healing
Do you need to seek someone else’s help to find healing for soul wounds? Can you fix this on your own?
It may be helpful to share your struggle with a trusted, mature Christian friend, with a counselor, or a pastor and have them pray with you and meet with you until you feel improvement. How can their prayers be phrased in order to do you good?
They can command the jealousy, loneliness, or offense to be gone in Jesus’ name. They can pray for Jesus to show you how He was present in situations in the past. They can pray for the opposite feelings (feelings of positivity to flood your mind and replace the inner wounds.) They can ask for the Holy Spirit to fill you and restore those painful places.
They may help you in prayers of repentance – if you need to forgive someone, forgive yourself, trust God or seek Him more. Perhaps you have let your spiritual life lapse.
All these types of prayers will identify the wounded places, help deliver you from them, and will touch and eliminate them through the power and healing of the Holy Spirit.
You do not necessarily have to have another person do this for you. If you identify a weak place in your thinking and your feelings – a recurring way of looking at the world or reacting to people that you sense is unhealthy, you can also pray by yourself for your healing. You can pray for the feelings to go. You can command them to go in Jesus’ name.
You can pray for healthy and God-oriented feelings to instead take their place.
Healing of Soul Wounds Scriptures
Finally, one of the most important things you can do is to pray and declare scriptures full of truth over yourself to push back and drive out the negative and distorted thoughts and moods.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2 NKJV
The passage above is so fundamental. God wants you to feel safe and whole in your mind and emotions. He wants you to be able to concentrate and to live with joy, not constant preoccupation and heaviness. God wants your soul to prosper.
Here are some other scriptures about our souls and God’s desire to give us minds free of fear, depression, and dark thoughts.
Scriptures to Pray and Declare
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Whoever fears is not perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 NIV
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NIV
“For I [satiate] the weary soul, and I [replenish] every sorrowful soul.” Jeremiah 31:25 NKJV
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3 ESV
“The Lord … gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:2-3 NKJV
There are so many more verses like this to grab a hold of and take as the truth of God’s desire for you. Brooding, being moody, being fearful, feeling small and unwanted, etc. – those things are not of God. In God’s transformation of you, He includes the healing of soul wounds.