How the Soul is Wounded and How It Is Healed
This is an excerpt from my book Emotional Healing Made Simple.
At conception, God places a spirit from heaven inside a fertilized egg, and a soul is formed. When the soul is created, it is crafted in perfection. It is unblemished, and in a sense, it is like a clean slate—waiting to be written upon by the world. Every interaction with another spirit or soul leaves an impression on us. Our soul is shaped by the interactions we have. Every video we watch, each interaction we have with a coworker, all our demonic dreams, and every encounter with God impacts the person we are becoming. Positive influences cause our souls to prosper. Negative influences inflict damage. The cumulative impacts and effects upon our soul over a lifetime mold and shape us into who and what we are, for better or worse.
The person we are today is largely a product of our experiences—that and the DNA from which we were created. The soul has the capacity of free choice. The ability of the soul to direct itself cannot be overridden by any living being without the soul’s consent, and the will of God does not negate its choices. The soul can choose whether to love or to hate, to curse or bless, and to accept or reject all things in creation. The will of the soul—and the choices it makes—form the personality of an individual. The capacity to develop a unique personality based on collective choices and experiences is what the soul does. It creates the personality.
To explain the mechanism of emotional trauma, I’d like to illustrate how physical trauma damages the physical human body. When the body suffers physical trauma, several actions occur. If, for example, the trauma is a knife wound, the blood vessels damaged by the knife edge will bleed. Sensory nerves send electrical impulses to the brain that are interpreted as pain. If the wound is not cleaned, other living beings, such as bacteria, can inhabit the wound, and it may become infected. If the infection spreads, it may cause sepsis and affect the entire body. Physical trauma can be healed with the use of a cleansing agent, antibiotics, and proper wound care.
Similarly, the soul can be wounded by trauma. Since the soul is the place where emotions are processed, the trauma suffered by the soul is not physical but emotional. Just as physical trauma can involve burns, electrical shock, and blunt trauma, the soul can be wounded in various ways. Verbal abuse is perhaps the most common cause of emotional trauma. Physical and sexual abuse and abandonment all cause emotional wounds as well.
Emotional trauma changes us in at least two distinct ways. First, it affects the way in which we interact with others. If one has had traumatic experiences with law enforcement officers, for example, they are likely to be distrustful of the police. If one has been abused by their father, they may resist the claim that God the Father can be trusted. Emotional trauma also changes us physically.
In the same way that bacteria can inhabit a physical wound if it is not properly cared for, evil spirits can inhabit soul wounds. Just as bacterial infection can cause sickness affecting the entire body, demons can cause ailments that affect the physical body. Many diseases and chronic pain syndromes are manifestations of demons that are attached to emotional wounds of the soul. The degree to which the soul and body are affected is determined by the severity of emotional trauma and the particular types of demons involved.
If we have physical or emotional problems presently, they may be the result of events that happened in our past. If we want to change our present behavior and if we’re going to live in good physical health, we must change the way emotional trauma from the past affects us.
The healing of emotional trauma is poorly understood among believers, perhaps because it is not clearly demonstrated in the Bible. You can read through the New Testament gospels and find demonstrations of physical healing, miracles, and deliverance from evil spirits, but that is not so for emotional healing. However, the Bible does address the subject.
The book of Isaiah revealed much about the ministry of the Messiah hundreds of years in advance. Consider the following passage where Jesus taught in the synagogue:
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus fulfilled the long-awaited prophecy of the Messiah. One segment of the prophecy says: “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.” The Hebrew word for brokenhearted, “sabar” (Strong’s #H7665), means to break in pieces. Jesus came to heal anyone whose heart (or soul) had been shattered into pieces. How is a soul shattered into pieces? Emotional trauma causes wounds to the soul. The parts of a wounded soul are the broken or shattered pieces referenced in this verse. Jesus puts the broken parts of the soul back together through the process of healing and integration. (Later chapters will cover in greater detail how these parts of the soul are created and how they are healed.)
Now, consider this prophecy about the Messiah:
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
In this passage, a prophecy is given that the torture of the Messiah (Jesus) would provide a way for us to be healed. This idea is usually applied to physical healing, but the prophet indicated that it applied to emotional healing as well. He wrote: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” Grief and sorrow are painful emotions caused by trauma. If Jesus has borne these negative emotions for us, we no longer need to bear them. We can literally give our negative emotions to Him.