Motive of the Wounded
The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? Proverbs 18:14 KJV
Many people are resigned to live with a physical infirmity and never seek God’s healing or medical care. There are also many people wounded in their spirit, who never seek help or healing. They just walk around wounded—knowingly or unknowingly— inflicting pain upon others. But this begs the question: what is the motive of the wounded?
Well, as a case study, let’s take a closer look at Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve men chosen by Jesus to be an apostle. Judas betrayed and double-crossed the Lord. So, what was Judas’ motive when he betrayed Jesus? How can such disloyalty and unfaithfulness be explained? I believe that Judas was a painfully wounded man, and wounded people are motivated out their own pain to injure others.
At some point in Jesus ministry, the devil had already prompted Judas to betray Him (John 13:2). Wounded people are targets of demonic suggestion and direction in their unhealed state of being —not able to victoriously resist the devil. As a result of little or no resistance, the devil, through one’s pain, will motivate them to injure others. Like many wounded spirits, Judas was wounded without showing any visible signs of his pain John 13:22). None of the other disciples of Jesus suspected Judas to be the betrayer. Yet, days earlier, he went to the Chief Priest and offered to deliver Jesus; he entered a covenant with them for thirty pieces of silver; and, then sought an opportunity to betray Jesus (Matt. 26:14-16). How could this be? Judas was a wound soul acting out of his pain.
People who are motivated to inflict wounds on another are often wounded in some way, themselves. They are the “walking wounded.” But what was Judas’ specific motivation? Greed—the love of money! Like Judas, wounded people in some way have unmet needs, unresolved issues, and unhealed hurts. Satan will always motivate someone close to you or in relationship with you to wound you, as he did with Judas’ double-crossing Jesus.
The world and the Church are filled with wounded spirits. So, how should Christian brothers and sisters respond to the “walking wounded” who wittingly or unwittingly inflict pain and trespass against them? Both Jesus and Apostle Paul taught believers to “bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse (Matt. 5:11; Rom. 12:14). Paul further taught us saying, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge . . . It is [God’s] to avenge . . . In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:17-21).
To “heap burning coals of fire” does not refer to a type of revenge. It is believed to refer to an Egyptian tradition of carrying a pan of burning charcoal on one’s head as a public act of repentance. Regardless of the motivation, you make the wounded ashamed of their hostility by surprising them with undeserved kindness. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy . . . [but] to be unlike him who performed the injury” (Marcus Aurelius). So, overcome the wounded spirit with acts of love and kindness!