Taken from the series SHOES I taught 4/10/11

Here is a quick excerpt from the message “walking in a wounded man’s shoes” this Sunday.

It is just a partial slice of the message .

How do you know when you have a wounded spirit? – Here are just a few symptoms that are tell tale signs that you are walking around in a wounded man’s shoes.

A Wounded Spirit

A wounded spirit is one that is hurting, but one in which the hurt has festered into unbearable attitudes and responses. A person with a wounded spirit lives in inner misery that focuses regularly on his injuries. Out of this focus come the following “unbearable” characteristics:

1. A negative mind-set. The person with a wounded spirit is preoccupied with past injuries. He views incidents in life in the worst light. He sees the bad and ignores the good. His mind is filled with woes, suspicion, and assumption of evil.

2. Victim reasoning. With a wounded spirit, a person views himself as a sufferer. He can turn even kind actions of others into additional grievances, into added pain in his life. He is pleased when others notice his misery, and hurt when they do not.

3. Grievance mannerisms. Out of a wounded spirit come sighs, groans, and exclamations that draw attention to the hurt. There is body language such as shaking the head, throwing dark looks, facial misery, and slumped shoulders.

4. Blame tactics. A person with a wounded spirit holds other people responsible for the misery in his life. In truth, others may have done him wrong, but those wrongs become the means of blaming others. The wounded spirit is able to cough up old injuries no matter what the present subject. The stories that are told put others in the worst light. In addition to direct blame, there are ways of insinuating–giving details in such a way that worse is implied.

Is it any wonder the proverb exclaims, The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?  Proverbs 18:14

Out of the wound oozes the stench of self-pity, bitterness, and accusation.

I realize being a person who has been wounded hurts deeply and can be very painful. It does take some time and friends with gracious spirits to help us out of the depths of the wounded spirit life.

That is why Jesus (an amazing gracious friend) was “wounded for our transgressions and he was bruised for our iniquities.” Isaiah 53:5.

A good resource for dealing with and finding healing for a wounded spirit is Frank Peretti’s book

Frank Draws from news stories and his own childhood spent fighting the pain of a disfigurement that made him an object of ridicule to illustrate the effects of emotional scars, and offers ways to overcome abuse.

I would like to close this blog by giving one of my favorites quotes from author and pastor Rob Bell.

“To not forgive is like giving someone free rent in your head.”


Lead Pastor




  1. Well said Steve.

    I have seen two extremes with the wounded spirit. One is as you have mentioned. The other is when the person closes completely down and tries to bury the wound – and continue as if nothing has happened.

    Both are extremely self destructive.

    I believe forgiveness is the key… yet before one can truly forgive; a total and full recognition and acknowledgement of the wounding needs to take place – with the recognition that it is right to feel wounded because of what happened… Then true healing and restoration can take place.

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