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Is bruising bad?

~ Thoughts from The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
Christ Will Not Break the Bruised Reed
3. The Smoking Flax

Getting a bruise
bruise I bruise easily.
Since we bought a new bed a year ago, I’ve hit my leg on the corner posts about, oh, 30 times.

Yeah, it hurts every time. And yeah, my leg turns black and blue and puffy.

Why do I keep doing it? Especially 30 times???
I don’t try to. I don’t want to. 

But on days when I’m in a hurry to round the corner, or I’m mindlessly thinking about something else, boom.
Bruised again.

Sometimes I feel like a bruised reed because of circumstances. Sad things surround me. I feel wounded by life.

And rightly so. But my real bruising is not from loss or grief or disappointment.

It’s an inside job.

That’s what I hear Richard Sibbes saying in The Bruised Reed. In chapters 2 and 3, I read:

  1. Jesus doesn’t break the bruised
  2. The reason we’re bruised? Our own sin

Just as the bed doesn’t reach out and grab my thigh to bruise it, neither does sin gets its grip on me without my consent. Sin happens when I’m in too big of a hurry and cut a corner. Or when I mindlessly take my focus off Jesus.

I may not want to. I try not to. But I do sin. A new bruise.

Bruised reeds are those brought low not just by their crosses, but by realization of their sin
…those who understand that sin is their greatest enemy, and that God’s favor is their greatest gift.
…those who are humble and compassionate, and who tremble at God’s word.

Jesus and bruises
What does Christ do with bruised reeds? He doesn’t break a man when he’s down. (That’s what Satan does—he attacks us when we’re weakest.) Christ extends a hand to lift the humble up.

As a healer, Christ binds the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:0). As a master, He shepherds. As a prophet, he gives blessing. As a priest, he dies for sinners.

Surgeons will lance and cut, but not dismember. A mother who has a sick and self willed child will not therefore cast it away.

And shall there be more mercy in the stream than in the spring? Shall we think there is more mercy in ourselves than in God, who plants the affection of mercy in us?

Our response
We should come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). “Shall our sins discourage us, when he appears there only for sinners?” No. Let’s open our wounds to him. Don’t hide our bruises. Understand our need for a Savior.

So maybe a bruise isn’t so bad after all.
Christ’s goal isn’t my happiness; it’s my holiness.

Let this support us when we feel ourselves bruised. Christ's way is first to wound, then to heal.

No sound, whole soul shall ever enter into heaven.

My bruise shows me where I keep running into the post, and makes me walk farther around it and closer to God. It encourages me to slow down at the tempting spots instead of being in a hurry to do things my way.

I am a bruised reed because of the sin in me.
But I’m only bruised, not broken, because of the Lord in me.

There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.

* * *

4. Christ Will Not Quench the Smoking Flax
5. The Spirit of Mercy Should Move Us

This is Week 2 of Tim Challie’s “Reading Classics Together.”
Download The Bruised Reed free online from, or grab a hardcopy, and read along with us.

Comments from reading group 

Previous chapters


Dianna said...

Lisa, I first want to tell you how much I enjoy what I've found here on your blog. I've spent some time here this morning looking over some of your other posts and I've enjoyed my visit SO much.

I also wanted to thank you for stopping by yesterday to visit with me. I know we have Holy Experience as common ground, but I'm also grateful that we are sisters in Christ. He supplies a network of Believers for us that we can both encourage others and also that we can be encouraged. Your comments yesterday definitely encouraged my heart.

I'm adding your blog to my list so that I don't miss any of the good stuff here! Today's post has encouraged me to obtain The Bruised Reed for my own reading!

Lisa notes... said...

Yes, I also continue to be amazed at how God introduces us to other sisters of faith so that we can stay mutually encouraged! Glad to be in the same circle with you.

Hope you'll enjoy The Bruised Reed as much as I am. So far it's been a profitable read.

Kevin Sorensen said...

I truly was stunned with your wording: It's an inside job. Wow, do I need that reminder and often. When the world around and even so many Christians would want us to think none of this "bruising" is our fault – it's that darn bedpost's fault, after all – I (we) need to be told: "from out of the heart..." Enjoyed reading your thoughts on Sibbes. Blessings upon you.

Deek Dubberly said...

Really great thoughts here, Lisa. I clicked through from your comment over at Tim Challies' site. I'm really benefiting from this round of "Reading Classics Together."

The thought that Christ wounds us then heals us is so beautiful to me. It is Christ who we know our sin disappoints and angers, yet it is also Christ who comes to us just at that point of need and meets our sorrow with forgiveness, comfort, and strength.

I've enjoyed clicking around your site. Keep up the great work.

Becky@ Daily On My Way To Heaven said...

Dear Lisa,

I am so happy to be reading this book along with you.

Thank you for your insight, it is so true what you said about bruising "It's an inside job"

But what a hope it is to know that "there is more mercy in Christ than sin in us"

Have a wonderful day..."see you" next week.

Jude St.John said...

"Just as the bed doesn’t reach out and grab my thigh to bruise it, neither does sin gets its grip on me without my consent. Sin happens when I’m in too big of a hurry and cut a corner. Or when I mindlessly take my focus off Jesus."

Lisa, that is very well said.

Without my consent! Ouch. The truth hurts. But you end with the remedy; There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us. Thank God for that gospel truth.


Anonymous said...

Oh I love this. Just love it. Thank you!

we buy houses said...

I love your blog. It's very inspirational. God bless you always.


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