August 01, 2007

Shutting The Door

Have you ever been in a situation in life where you've felt you've needed closure? A divorce, a job transition, a friendship, a nasty breakup with a boyfriend/girlfriend? We all come to those times in our life where a situation is unresolved or still up in the air and there is something in the human heart that longs for it to be over, for the conflict to be resolved, and the ability to move on with a clean slate and a truly new beginning.

And so my question is WHY? Why do we feel that way? Why do we long for that? Is it Biblical? What if you can't get closure? What does the Bible have to say about it?

Ephesians 4:26 says "Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger".

Matthew 5:23-24 says "If you are at the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, go resolve it and then come back" (my paraphrase)

Both passages touch on closure. Both passages touch on the dangerous effects of unresvolved issues in your life. And the Bible has much more to say on the topic but what I want to say is this:

Leaving issues open in your life is an open invitation and foothold for further and greater sin.

Not to mention the physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological toll it takes on you. And we have all seen people like this in our lives. People who have been hurt 25 years ago and they just can't let it go. They walk around with bitterness that has been fermenting and growing forever and they are just miserable people. They're hateful, full of anger, and mean. They don't see anything positive in the world. And on top of that, they're just not fun to be around.

All because they didn't get closure in a situation. There are still loose ends in their life that they never tied up. But how do you do this. How do you get closure? Great question. No easy answers.

I will say one thing that has struck me lately is that the wrong done to you by other people has already been dealt with in one of two ways and both ensure that the justice in making the wrong right is better and more perfect than anything you could do to them or carry around for the rest of your life. The wrong that has been done to you has:
  1. Been punished in the person of Jesus Christ on the cross OR
  2. Will be punished by that person spending eternity apart from God in hell
Either way, their sin, your sin, everyone's sin has been perfectly dealt with by God. So, what that leaves you to be is free. Free from anger, free from guilt, free from festering bitterness. Free to be who God made you to be. Free to be joyful and cheerful. Free to be a blessing and not a curse to those around you. Free to live. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. The Gospel has all sorts of ramifications. The Gospel gives closure to everyone who needs it.

2007 has been a great year of closure for me in a challenging way. With my mom's death, with my transition from Upward, with moving cities, with continuing seminary. In many contexts, I have been and am in various stages of closure. I urge you to consider your life and find where you might need to bring closure to an unresolved situation. And then pray and ask God to give you the opportunity to "tie up" the loose end. Do it in a God-glorifying way. You'll be amazed at the results.

I know I was today.....

UPDATE: (This article is a perfect illustration of what I'm talking about...closure is important and finding it in Jesus is have to read this....)

No comments: