After your personal time in worship and Bible study, finish reading Chapter Two of The Unburdened Heart. Go through the questions at the end of the the chapter.
Here are additional questions to take it deeper.
1. Read Matthew 15:14. Why did Jesus not ask His disciples to invest time, energy, their thoughts to changing the Pharisee?
2. How does accepting “what is” help you to leave one place to find another?
3. If a relationship is harmful or damaging or dangerous to your or your family, what does it mean to you personally to love from a distance?
4. Take time to reflect and pray before you answer this question.
In what way is God asking you to get out of the debt collection business?
Take the weekend off. Let this week’s study soak in. Keep our thought for the week on your heart. When you feel that resentment or anger or hurt coming up, don’t brush it off. Acknowledge it. But also share this one thought with yourself as you respond, rather than react to it:
God is helping me to leave one place so that He can lead me to another.
Next week we’ll study Chapter Three together: God Moves In.
I think what Jesus is saying in Matthew 15:14 is that we can’t change others. It’s not our job to be their “Holy Spirit Jr.” They have to want to change themselves and submit to the Holy Spirit to do it. (Just as we all want to change/surrender through this book study.) It also takes up too much time and energy to worry about others’ issues. I have 3 little kiddos to raise. God wants me to be the best wife and Mom I can be.
“What is”: I’m accepting “what is” but I admit I struggle with thinking that God will be “mad at me” that I didn’t do more to try and make things right with my parents. After all, I’m supposed to “honor them”, right? I guess I’ve been waiting for someone to give me permission to “let go” and love them from a distance. My Mom won’t tell me what I did wrong; she said, “we’ll talk about it someday”. Now I realize she just needs to feel like she has something over me to be mad about. There is no reconciliation, because I can’t change what I can’t see. At that moment I knew we would move in a “different direction”, although she thinks we’re “moving forward”. I’m loving her from a distance by living at peace with her the best I can, which means having superficial conversations and bringing my kids to see her. Asking her how she is feeling and offering to take her to doctor appointments, etc. I admit sometimes my actions don’t match what’s in my heart. I pray someday they will.
This may be a little off topic but I have a forgiveness question that just recently came up. How do you go about forgiving someone when you don’t know their name? Someone sent an e-mail to someone else that has caused some issues in my life. I do not know who sent the e-mail and will most likely never know. How do I work on forgiving that person? I think it is no accident that this occurred this week when we are talking about moving from one place to another. I am so thankful for this book and study! And while my heart is hurting God is faithful!
God knows their name, Kristen! I love Suzie’s “empty chair” exercise where you pretend the person is there and just pour our your heart. I’ve done it before, and, while I felt a little silly at first, it was highly effective to just get the feelings out and let them go. Lord, comfort Kristen’s heart so recently injured by the careless words of another. Please help her (and all of us) forgive and release the heaviness in our spirits.
Thank you! I appreciate it! I am really struggling with this right now. I appreciate your kind, sweet words! Hugs and blessings to you!
I miss my friends! Some have left from either moving, relationship struggles or just moving on to other people or things that interest them more. When I think that I can still love them in my heart, I feel better about letting them go. If I leave the pain of loosing them, then I can find new relationships that God brings in his perfect timing. I can’t find new friends if I’m wallowing in the sadness of loosing the old. If I see them again, then I want them to see that look of love and forgiveness that comes from the heart. I will see them again in heaven, that gives me good motivation to forgive and move on.
The “it is what it is” has to do with two friendships I lost in the last year or so. One was a far-off friendship and one was my best friend for over 10 years who I see at least twice a week at church stuff. All communication is cut off between the far-off friend. This has been so hard for me to accept, but, it is what it is and I just have to keep releasing it back to God each time the person comes to mind. It helps to use those thoughts as a prayer prompting. That keeps me from pining over what once was and focusing on who we both are as God’s precious daughters.
My local friendship loss is a different kind of “it is what it is.” She’s a partner in ministry. I’m having to get used to the fact that we may never be bosom buddies again, but that doesn’t mean our relationship won’t be positive and God-honoring. I see how both of our relationships with God are better now that she and I aren’t as joined at the hip. My marriage is better, too.
On question number four, I need to dismantle the mile high protective walls that I’ve built around myself. I need to learn to trust people again. Forgiveness is going to be part of that process. I need to see the people that I need to forgive for where they’re at in their life and why the things they’ve done may have happened. I’m going to hand the situations over to God to help me put myself in their place and forgive them.
In response to question 4: In what way is God asking you to get out of the debt collection business? God has revealed to me to that in order for me to grow in him, I must let go of the negative emotions that keep me stuck. I got a picture of myself falling into quicksand and if I continue to harbor negative emotions and not seek to forgive others and myself, I will sink further into the pit and eventually being swallowed up by darkness. That was a scary vision so I choose to take the next steps necessary for forgiveness. While praying I also had a vision of dirty and clean water. “When the water company has to turn the water off for a period of time when it comes back on, the water may be brown and then as it continues to flow it becomes clear again”. When I choose to forgive I am releasing those bottled up emotions and washing away the impurities in my soul. I can see the dirty water fading and the clear pure water flowing this vision makes my heart happy just thinking about it. There is lots of layers to be peeled, I am thankful for this study and for Gods word and His promises.