Who Are The Bruised?
The term bruised hear actually means to be shattered or broken. These people's lives are completely shattered. The blind have lost sight of God in their lives, the captive are bound under sin and situations, the brokenhearted face internal pain from external situations, and the poor are lacking for either the temporal or the spiritual, but the bruised have nothing. Every area of their lives is in shambles. They are in a position not unlike Jeremiah, where the whole world is burning around them and all they can do is lament to God.
Note that often times the bruised aren't bruised because of transgressions. Their lives haven't been shattered because of wrong choices. Rather, they are in pieces because of the trials of life. We mentioned Jeremiah earlier, but Job and Ruth are also examples of bruised people, too. They served God, but lost everything. There was no hope on the horizon for either of them. All they could do is try to survive. The bruised are good people who are not just overwhelmed, they are overcome. The enemy has come in like a flood, and they are looking and hoping for the standard to be raised on their behalf.
Examples of Bruised People:
-Those who are facing a terminal illness or a close loved one is facing a terminal illness
-They have lost someone tragically (i.e. a car accident, murder, accidental shooting, etc.)
-They have lost their job, their home and their spouse has left them.
-Their children have rebelled to the point they no longer see or speak to them.
These are just a few examples of those who are bruised. God will raise a standard on their behalf, though we don't know what his response may be. While we wait for Him to act, their are things we can do to prepare for the battle.
As mentioned above, its not our place to bring the standard of freedom to those who are bruised. Only God can do that. However, we can send the order for freedom to come. We have the ability to call upon the Name of the Lord for those whose lives are shattered and broken. We can intercede for them and be a herald of grace. We can also get involved in the lives of those who are broken to encourage them to seek the standard of God.
In the story of Ruth, we find a perfect example of an encourager. Naomi could not free Ruth from her state of mourning. She couldn't restore her from her brokenness. However, Naomi encouraged Ruth to pick in the right fields. She advised Ruth on how to interact with Boaz right down to when she should approach him and what she should say. Naomi's encouragement and instruction led to Ruth finding her kinsman redeemer and her deliverance from being bruised. That is our purpose to the bruised: to bring them to their kinsman redeemer, Jesus Christ.
The 3 W's of Encouragement
Naomi didn't just throw paint on the wall with her encouragement and advice, though. Everything she said was founded in wisdom, the Word and a walk with God. If we want to handle and help those who are broken, we must have those three W's in our lives.
Word: examining the Bible for the purpose of gaining knowledge. By getting the principles and knowledge of the Bible into our lives, we'll have examples and principles we can implement in our lives so we can help those who are bruised.
Walk: daily communication with God that brings understanding. If we will commune with God, He will speak to us and we will have understanding of His ways that can't be found any other way. Also, having a walk with God signals someone to follow us. They see the redeemer in us and our drawn to Him in us.
Wisdom: intangible benefits of committing to the previous 2 W's. When we examine the Word and Walk with God over a long period of time, we will gain a deeper understanding of the world around us, especially those things relating to the spirit realm. This understanding makes a reliable and trusted source of encouragement for all people, including the bruised.
If we can implement these 3 W's in our lives, we'll develop a voice and actions that benefit the bruised. We'll be able to encourage them through our knowledge of the scriptures. We'll offer prayers that have actual power behind them because we walk with God. Moreover, our walk with God will inspire them. Finally, the wisdom God gives us will lead us in how we should operate with a broken individual.
Remember, their lives are fragile and can't be treated harshly or carelessly. Doing all of the above won't guarantee their situation will get better. Jeremiah never saw Jerusalem restored in his lifetime. However, we can connect people with a God that will offer freedom even in their storm. God made a way for Jeremiah to escape bondage and He also made a promise through Jeremiah that would comfort him to his grave. Whatever God has to provide to them is up to Him, all we have to do is get them connected to Him and let Him raise the standard.
When you get the chance to help a bruised person, pray before interacting with them.
Let God, and your past experiences with God lead you in how to handle this individual.
Often times, listening is the best way to interacting with an individual in this situation.
Let God lead you on what to say and when to say it.
Always end with an offering of prayer at that moment so your interaction will end positively.
Note: A lot of these interactions may be intense and might veer towards negativity. Don't try and stop them from venting or admonish them for having a bad attitude. Once they are done, thank them for their honesty and offer prayer and support.
Read the stories of Ruth, Jeremiah, Job and anyone else who experienced loss in the Bible. Try to imagine what it was like to go through what they went through. Note what they did to overcome their bruised nature.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.