It’s interesting that every sin in the Bible is a relational sin, even the Ten Commandments. The first four deal with our relationship with God: “Have no other gods before me. Don’t take my name in vain.” The other six address our relationships with other people. Throughout scripture, every sin that’s mentioned — greed, pride, lust, anger, strife — is relational.

When we don’t understand and follow the ways God wants us to view our relationships with him and others, we know something is missing. There is a hollowness, a separation from God, because sin is following our own ideas and not his plan.

We seem to always measure fulfillment by external circumstances. If our lives fall short of those expectations, and it almost always does, we feel that emptiness. For some, life may be especially traumatic. A person may have come from an abusive situation in childhood, or experienced divorce or addiction. Wherever that disappointment with life comes from, we feel it keenly at our core. Let’s say somebody grows up without a sense of being loved. Their father never once said to them, “I love you,” and they were never held or hugged. They feel that constant ache and longing.

For some, the measurement might be money or admiration. “Once I make my first million, or get to this place on the corporate ladder, everybody will love me.” A guy who feels insecure about his masculinity might chase women. If it doesn’t work out, we feel like a failure.

Here is the problem. Out of that pain comes a sense that there is something wrong with us. “I am incomplete. I am defective because…” We start blaming ourselves. We say, “The reason my father rejected me, or my mother left me, or my marriage fell apart is that I am insignificant, unworthy, unlovable. I’m not smart enough. I’m not good looking enough.”

We build what I call false constructs. We’re building our whole life based on our wounds. You could call it “wound speak.” Our wounds have a subconscious voice, and they tell us, “Go get this, get that.” It’s very subtle but very powerful. God’s plan is that we measure our worth by his love and grace. He paid the ultimate price to silence that wounded voice, to wipe away our past through forgiveness, and to redeem us into wholeness in him. His voice is the only one that matters.