I heard a really interesting saying today: “Preach from your scars and not your wounds.”
Preach from your scars
Scars are not wounds. Scars are wounds that have healed yet have left a permanent mark. You are healed but never the same. When you preach from your scars, you can reflect on personal hardship, pain and failure in a way that shows others that God heals wounds. People are invited into your experience so they can reflect on the same sort of truth in their own lives and the way that God heals them.
Don’t preach from your wounds
Wounds are gaping holes that are bleeding and raw. They hurt! When you preach from your wounds, you can’t see clearly past your own pain to the healing that God is working. You end up talking about hurt, hardship, and failure in a way that draws attention to yourself rather than to God. People respond, “I feel so bad for you,” “I should do something to help you,” etc. You become the focus rather than a vehicle by which God can bring transformation and healing into the lives of others.
Whether we are preaching, counseling or simply encouraging others in the body, we should preach from our scars but not from our wounds.