I (Karen) wanted to share something we’ve been learning in church. For 3 weeks, our pastor has been teaching a series on the Lord’s Prayer from Matt 6:5-13. When speaking on vs 11-13, where He teaches how to ask for things, the pastor says to ask our selves three questions related to the three verses.
1. What do I need?
2. Where am I hurting?
3. Where do I need help?
In discussing that second question, the pastor brought up the unforgiving servant parable from Matthew 18:21-35, saying that both the unforgiving servant and the one who owed him in debt ended up in the same debtor’s prison (a poetic example of how we become enslaved to the things we won’t let go of).
The pastor explained that we cannot truly forgive until we have allowed ourselves to experience the hurt that needs forgiving. He quoted Tish Harrison Warren: “Grief is stubborn. It will make itself heard… If we don’t face it directly it comes out sideways… explosive anger, uncontrollable anxiety, compulsive shallowness, brooding, bitterness, unchecked addiction. Grief is a ghost that can’t be put to rest until its purpose has been fulfilled.”
This concept of not ignoring grief, or any feeling, has been instrumental in my growth. We both really resonated with another of the pastor’s challenges too, that though counselors and friends are great we need to be careful not to “outsource” a conversation to them that we need to be having with God.