Loving Others Through Your Scars

As believers in Jesus, we have His commandment to love one another.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”                       – John 13:34,35

The same guy who recorded those words, wrote some of his own:

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”                                                  – 1 John 4:7-11

The idea of loving others with the love of Jesus is not new to believers, but sometimes we don’t always do as the Lord has commanded us regarding this ‘loving one another’ thing. The main reason that we tend to be hesitant has more to do with our personal pain, wounds, and scars. We have been hurt by others that we loved so therefore we tend to not love as much or as openly as we ought to in order to avoid future pain.  I am sure the Master had this in mind when He communicated this to us, that is, that we are to love one another as Christ has loved us; that is, God is love. 

If God is love, than love is God, that is, love is of God, it’s part of His divine nature, and we have that nature through Jesus.  Many people who have had beyond and back experiences where they went to Heaven and returned have all said the same thing; it’s a place filled with love. The very atmosphere of Heaven is love.  When Jesus walks up to us and gives us a hug, we feel His love.  This same love is within us and we must be sure to wield it well when we are loving others with the love of Jesus.  The best place to show God’s love is at church or when we are fellowshipping or working with other believers, our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”        – Galatians 6:9.10

The household of faith is the body of Christ.  We are to, as much as we have the opportunity, do good to all, but especially our brothers and sisters in Jesus.  This is the way of the Master, it’s His plan for His Church and one that each of us as followers of Jesus, must embrace and practice.  We must love each other with Christ’ love.

However, sometimes that’s a hard thing to do.  Sometimes when we have been hurt by someone in the faith, a brother or sister, a church attender, a stranger and so forth, we tend to not want to love others because of our negative experience.  Here’s a newsflash for you, all of us have hurt others at some point in our lives and all of us have been hurt by someone.  We all have scars on our hearts that bear the unfortunate experience of being betrayed by a trusted other, being hurt, being abused, or just being unloved by someone who should have loved us.  This ride is as unfortunate as it is more common that it should be.  This is why forgiveness is so important in learning to love others through our scars.  If we can forgive others and forgive ourselves, then we can be forgiven by Jesus.  His only prerequisite is that we forgive those who have trespassed against us.  Too many believers out there have yet to still learn this and practice it; yet it’s critical to their own salvation and being ready for the Lord’s return.  

There is a difference between wounds and scars. Wounds still need tending to, they need cleaning out, washing, rebandaging, and the applying of medication and so forth.  Scars, are healed wounds that serve as a reminder of an unfortunate injury in our past.  The older the scar, the longer the time since the injury that caused it.  All of us have scars, they may not be on our body so much, but they are on our soul.  We have all been wounded and hurt by others, and we all have caused wounds and hurt for others, some of us more than others.  If we can forgive and seek forgiveness, we can be healed; it’s that simple.

Some of the people who have wounded us have passed on, but we can still forgive them in our heart.  Others are still with us, but only need to be forgiven from our heart.  The point is that we are to make sure that we are clear of any bitterness, unforgiveness, and pain associated with other people who have hurt us and caused us to be wounded.  Our goal is for our wounds to become scars.  A scar is not a bad thing, they’re just a reminder that we were once wounded, but are now healed. Jesus will retain His scars on His heavenly body throughout eternity. They will serve as a reminder of what it took for us to be redeemed and made whole.  The rest of saved humanity will be given perfect bodies that are as scarless as they are void of any defects.  It seems almost unfair, but it’s a necessary element in the realm of eternity; we need a reminder of the process the Lord went through to provide for us our salvation.  I can think of three passages in scripture where this truth is made clear:

Jesus Appears to His Disciples: “Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” 40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.”        – Luke 24:36-43

The Lamb Takes the Scroll: “And I looked, and behold, (I saw) in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb (standing) as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”                                                            – Revelation 5:6,7

Jesus in the Millennium: “And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms (hands)?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’”                                                                        – Zechariah 13:6

In all three of three of these passages we see the Christ in His glorified body, but with scars from His crucifixion.  If Jesus can have scars in His glorified body, we can have them in our pre-resurrected hearts.  The key here is to follow Christ’ example and make sure those wounds heal, and not fester, which means ‘to rot.’

There are those believers who are quick to criticize others, particular pastors.  They feel it’s their right to extend to you their opinion even when you didn’t ask it of them.  These self-proclaimed fruit inspectors are nothing more than wounded saints who are on the mend; their wounds have not yet become scars, for if they had, they would appreciate their healing and express that same love, God’s love, toward others; especially pastors.

“Obey those who rule over (lead) you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”       – Hebrews 13:17

The writer of Hebrews is talking about church leadership and our proper respect toward them.  It seems apparent that even in the first century church there were those who were less than respectful or submissive to church leadership.  This is unfortunate because this kind of behavior not only wounds the pastor/leader, but their family.  This makes it hard for some pastors and staff members to love the parishioners entrusted to their care because of a previous wound, turned scar, by a fellow believer.  This makes it hard for a pastor or staff minister to love others through their scars.  In my travels I have noticed various ministry people being somewhat guarded, aloof, and otherwise stand off-ish in a crowd.  It’s not that their stuck up, but rather, they are being careful in their interactions with little or nothing left to give, emotionally or otherwise.   My answer to this dilemma has more to do with encouraging them, praying with them (if they allow it), and supporting them in anyway that I can.  Never under estimate the power of an encouraging word. 

I like the way the Apostle Paul said it, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification (building up), that it may impart grace to the hearers.”                                                                                       – Ephesians 4:29       

During the Covid-19 hoopla of 2020, we created an outdoor sanctuary with a banner on the front of the platform that had this passage. It was a reminder to the saints that during this crisis, we were to be as positive and uplifting as we possibly could. This kind of behavior was a sign of maturity and obedience, yet some of the folks just couldn’t do it; their wounds were not quite healed. I have found that people who act out in a manner that is not becoming to a believer is usually the result of an unmet need or two in their life.  It’s from this place of deficit that they spawn bitterness and criticism which can infect others, if allowed.  I challenge you to not be this person, but to examine your heart and ask the Lord to help you with any hidden hatred or shame that you have not fully yielded to the Master. 

David said it this way, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.”        

  – Psalm 51:10-13

We are all called to love one another so we all must tend to our own wounds and see that eventually they become scars.  Sometimes it takes a little while, it’s a process of healing and restoration, but in the end, it yields a scar that serves as a reminder that we too have been healed by the Master.    I encourage you man of God, you must be intentional in how you love others, in spite of your past wounds.  It’s a mark of maturity and leadership on your part if you can love others, reach out to them, and do your best to live at peace with all men.

NOTE: This same principle applies to marriages also.  If one half of the relationship has wounds from their past that are keeping them from loving their spouse in a manner that is consistent with God’s word; then it’s  time for some healing and restoration.  Sometimes this takes a professional intervention, a pastoral counseling session or two (or more), or some good old fashioned conversation (and homework) between the married couple to work it out.  Whatever the case, if you’re not loving your spouse the way that you should, it’s time to make a necessary course correction and love them through your scar.  By the way, if you’re not sure if you’re not loving your spouse the way that you should, you might want to ask them about it; I am pretty sure they will tell you. 


Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Southern Missouri.  He lives with his wife of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren).  Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate.  He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry. 

One thought on “Loving Others Through Your Scars

  1. Great word and reminder Pastor Rob. You are so right about us being intentional in seeing that we make this a routine and not an exception.


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