I don’t know what you think about tattoo’s, but I personally love them. I think they are amazing art and can tell amazing stories. I have actually had meaningful discussions about Jesus because of the tattoo’s I have. There is a big trend right now within the tattoo world of people getting their scars or skin discoloring covered with tattoo’s to hide the misconfiguration. Why? Because we live in a world that perfection is expected and even at times demanded. Unfortunately at times imperfections are attacked and put down, so therefore we try everything we can to hide them, cover them or even get rid of them. Now I honestly do understand the want to cover up a scar from an accident or what have you. What I’m addressing is deeper than that, I mean ‘Life Scars’. Things that happen to us that we want to cover up because of shame or fear. If we aren’t careful we can take that notion into our relationship with Jesus. But its actually the complete opposite in the kingdom of God. Scars and imperfections are celebrated and not attacked. Throughout the bible narrative they are talked about constantly.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (MSG) “Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become”
The Apostle Paul had one of the craziest journey’s following Jesus in all of the bible. One main part of that journey was pain, trials and tribulations. Something I would like to call ‘Life Scars’. I have never met a great woman or man of God, that has not experienced great pain and deep hurts.
- SCARS GIVE YOU PROFOUND COMPASSION
What a powerful statement by Paul “I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations”. How many of us would call the hardship, pain and trials that we go through a GIFT? No way, at least not me! We call them attacks of the enemy, obstacles, situations we don’t deserve, ect. If you pay close attention to the Pauline writings and how often he talks about his trials and tribulations, he doesn’t hide them or ignore them, he puts them in the right perspective.
Our scars give us compassion for others people’s pain. It can be hard to understand something you have never experienced or known. I believe pain has a language. There are words, emotions, somethings you can’t even put into words, it might just be a look or a feeling you can sense in the air. But if you have scars you KNOW that look, you know that feeling that can’t be perfectly articulated.
“I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift” If I could encourage you today, if you have been through some pain or are currently going through some right now, I believe God wants to change your perspective on it from a handicap to a gift; and that gift is a deep and profound level of compassion. That everything you have been through is not a waste, it is not a handicap on your life and it is not an ugly scar. It is BEAUTIFUL, it is POWERFUL, and it has PURPOSE! God may not have intended it but he will absolutely use it. Who around you today or this week that could desperately need you to step into their world, and show some compassion and love?
2. SCARS MEAN YOU WON
When you think about what a scar actually is. It was a wound that was opened and now has healed into a scar. What a powerful imagery. That means you KNOW what it means to hurt and to have pain, but it ALSO means you know what it means to be HEALED. Your scar is someone’s sign of hope, a sign of a better future. Don’t hide your scars, don’t be ashamed what you have been through. Paul had an amazing understanding that our PAST pain can help someones CURRENT pain.
2 Cor 4: 7-12 (MSG) “We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!”
What is Paul once again shouting to these believers in Corinth? I know what it means to be hurting, BUT I MADE IT! I know what it means to be surrounded by enemies, BUT I MADE IT! I know what it means to feel like I have no idea whats going on, BUT GOD KNEW!! Whatever scars, pain or trials you have experienced, remind yourself and the devil, you’re still here, you won he lost, and now you are going to use everything you have been through as a GIFT and a WEAPON! Wear your tragedies as armor not shackles.
If you need some encouragement. Listen to this song. https://youtu.be/LjF9IqvXDjY
Your scars are beautiful.