When we fail to care for our wounded, either by shooting them in the head or giving them a microphone before they are healed, we breach kingdom culture processes and protocols at the expense of kingdom culture principles.
It does not “encourage” a wounded warrior to put him back into the battle. It is deadly to him and the entire battle plan. It is just silly to think, “he will feel better acting as if he isn’t wounded at all.” Nope. He pretty much knows he is when he cannot lift the sword and shield.
Malpractice is common in the kingdom of God. We have more Boy Scout Troup leaders than General Patton’s. Learning to tie knots and build a safe campfire is useful if you are nine. But, this is what your parents teach you, not your Generals.
To get over your wounds, you need more than a SpiderMan bandaid to change the subject about your pain. You need your daddy more than your mommy.
Your dad says, “I don’t see no blood. Go mow the backyard.” He thinks living with a little pain will teach you to conquer more significant pain later on. “Function kid. Shake it off.”
Your mom says, “Oh my poor little poochie-doodie baby, get into your PJ’s and watch old black and white westerns while I feed you comfort food soup and check your forehead for fever eight times minute. You might faint at all moment.” She thinks falling on your knee is the same thing as shooting yourself with a .410 shotgun in the knee.”
Pain Aversion and Woundedness
Living wounded means you avoid further pain. “Not now. I can’t take any more” is not a healthy, spiritual lifestyle condition. Living healthy comes from healing from the inside out, so there is no scar. Living wounded continues even when there is nothing left of the initial injury.
Kingdom leaders with pain aversion lack courage for confrontation. They go into victim mode the first sign of attack. They step back when they should step up. They leave themselves to the defensive position. They say, “God will take care of it” when it is part of their leadership responsibility to confront.
“I will not suffer any more pain” is a handicap, not a place of wisdom. It is a syndrome that reorders the leader as a follower, and the threat of wounding is the new leader of that kingdom ministry.
The sidelines of the kingdom highway line up with wounded warriors who refuse to heal, occasionally appearing for a parade presentation of functional leaders. Hearing the crowd say, “We honor your bravery” when they are cowards. Heroism isn’t standing around dripping blood from an unhealed wound. Heroism courageously faces the pain, heals up, and returns to the fray.
Wounded warriors afraid of further wounding cannot be allowed to participate in the battle. Deadly fear spreads and freezes them and those around them. Dangerous hesitation destroys the timing of the urgent response to the enemy.
Fighting Old Battles
All wounded warriors continue fighting old battles. They relive the battle of their wounding. They do not prepare for new conflicts. They rehearse the moment of their pain. They look for an answer to “what I could have done” and “why did I go down that path?” Then, they hesitate to do anything or follow any new path.
Wounded warriors see enemies in the faces of people that resemble the enemy that thrust them through. They see enemies where no enemies exist. They think the enemy is targeting them when they are not even in the battle. They lack trust with their doctors because they fear the pain of treatment needed to cleanse the wound. They turn to self-diagnosis and therapies that protect them from pain.
In general, the kingdom responds to wounded warriors in one of two ways:
- They shoot them in the head because they are no longer of any disposable use. The church-growthism definition of success devalues individuals and leaders with a “what can you do for me today?” mentality. The easiest thing to do for the good of the whole is cut out the problem to save the expense of fixing it.
- They put the wounded into a permanent class for exaggerated compassion with no strategic treatment that heals them. It is like the mental health response of modern society: “too much trouble for the anticipated return; just make them comfortable.” Helping mental health people costs too much, and homelessness is cheaper than treatment.
We are ashamed of wounded people because they advertise perceptions of failure in our “Your Best Life Now” humanistic marketing plan. We dislike the imaging of wounded warriors. We think it will terrorize future participants. We want a posterized image of Ken and Barbie in people’s mind to convince them of all the good things participating in our events will bring them.
We have little concern for lifestyle transformation. We shuffle through thousands of people we are assigned to disciple to get to the successful people (successful at worldly things) when we did nothing to help produce the success. Then, we accumulate the successful for props in our marketing presentation: “You, too, can be successful by participating in this sham facade of christianism.”
I heard a mega-church pastor say, “I believe God is going to send us people who don’t need healing and training.”
That isn’t an isolated sentiment in modern church-anity!