Don’t Pick the Scabs: 5 Ways We Block Our Own Healing

This article was written by Kim Brightness and published by Team Jesus Magazine


Let Healing End.

I got into a fight in 1st grade.  She pushed me down on the sidewalk; I got up and pushed her down on the sidewalk. We were both sent to the nurse (and detention) and ended up with almost identical scars that remained through high school. We later became friends and grew to laugh about our craziness.

But, before my scar came along, my skin grew this rough, bumpy scab.  As a kid, I was intrigued by scabs:  “How’d the body do that?  And look how easily you can pick it off, see the dotted, white skin underneath, and then it grows back again…like magic.

Needless to say, times have changed since 1st grade – including my outlook on wounds, scabs, and scars.

Life teaches us that some of the nastiest scrapes and deepest wounds never crack our skin, but they pierce our souls.  And, while we can’t put a physical band-aid on our bleeding hearts, God in His infinite, healing love knows how to form an invisible scab to protect the healing process.

But sometimes, it’s still so tempting to pick at the scab.  It’s not enough for us to move out of God’s way so healing can manifest – without meddling. We are strangely adept at finding ways to justify why the picking must begin.

Ways We Pick at Life’s Scabs

It’s not a healthy habit to admit, Team, but scab picking happens. Hurt from others, disappointments in life can wound you to the core. In the middle of your healing process, have you ever found yourself:

  • Constantly ruminating and re-living painful, past events that wounded you?
  •  “Acting out” against the wound with more destructive behavior and patterns?
  • Living in excessive frustration over the how’s and why’s of the wound, because it didn’t make sense to you?
  • Obsessively wishing things had turned out differently; what could I have done to avoid the wound?
  • Constantly soliciting opinions, viewpoints, inspections, and “two cents” about the wound from others?
  • Blaming others for wounds you inflicted on yourself?
  • Seeking revenge and/or punishment to wound those who caused your wound?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to move out of your own way. You are blocking the very healing that the Lord your God would love to give you (Exodus 15:26).

Set Your Healing Free.

Here are a few reasons why spiritual scab picking is so destructive and must be stopped now:

1. It represents disorder.

God is a God of order and peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). When God personally designed our healing, He set a predetermined order, structure, and peace intended for our healing process.  When we pick at the scab, we introduce chaos and confusion that disses the order and design for our healing.  Thoughts and actions that nourish grudges and unforgiveness set us “apart from” and are a “negative, reversing force” to our healing process.

2. It introduces infection.

The wound is already painful enough, right? By picking the scab, we add insult to injury, we enlarge and magnify the offense, and create additional pus and pain that were outside the scope of the healing process. Now, we not only have to heal from the original wound – but from the effects of the infection that we added to the mix – which can be much worse than the wound itself. The key point to remember is this: Wounds wound, infections can KILL!

3. It can increase the risk of disfiguring scars.

When we submit to our healing process, we can actually minimize the developing scar. For instance, why have to heal from a bankruptcy scar, too, because you started overspending to cope with the pain from the wound? God’s intended shape and size of your scar does not take your scab-picking into account – but trust that nothing catches God off guard. The larger wound can heal too!

4. It delays healing, which delays freedom, which delays…

You have things you want to accomplish in life, right? Well, when we’re wounded and healing, we are not as effective as our whole, healed selves envisioned by God. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be wounded around people. It increases the likelihood of being misunderstood or lashing out at others for the pain they did not cause. Respect your healing time. There is an abundance that awaits after healing; don’t sabotage the time it takes to get there by picking scabs.

5. It disrupts God’s purpose: To move us from wound to scar

Team, this may be hard to grasp (depending on the wound), but the purpose of your wound was to HEAL and HELP others. Notice the wound didn’t kill you.  Yes, it hurt like crazy, it left a mark, you had to compensate and somehow recover from it, but YOU’RE STILL HERE! The wound didn’t come to take you out, but the scar it leaves can bring others out of the same or similar situation. Your testimony will give others hope, determination, and inspire a healed scar of their own!

Note: Just as physical scab-picking can represent a deeper psychological disorder, so can the picking that goes on in our minds.  If you’re unable to stop on your own, consider adding the help of a Christian counselor or therapist to your personal work of prayer and surrender to God.

So, What’s the Play Call?

During one of my greatest healing journeys, God whispered to me: “A scar is a story written by the wound and published by the scab.”

The wound came to be healed. So, stay on healing purpose, Team. The goal is a healed scar! Let’s give our scabs the freedom and space to do their part – knowing that God is protecting us while He heals us. Your wounds have awesome, victorious stories to tell. Don’t block them, set them free!

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