What is “closure”, anyway?
To many people, it means resolving differences; to others, it means getting retribution. For still others, it never comes.
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I looked up the word and here is one definition I think makes sense:
Closure means finality; a letting go of what once was. Finding closure
implies a complete acceptance of what has happened and an honoring of
the transition away from what’s finished to something new.
In the real world, where people are looking for closure because they have been mistreated, either verbally, physically, or professionally, it seems more often than not that closure is impossible because the people involved are unavailable.
In my life, I have been mistreated by people I worked for, and it affected my career choices in a bad way, although all things work to the good for those who love the Lord and are called in accordance to his purpose (Romans 8:28), even though most of the times I was mistreated I didn’t have anything to do with God, at all.
Yet, he still took care of me: it doesn’t make sense to humans, but that’s how God rolls.
So, what is the answer to the question? It’s actually quite simple: you don’t need anyone but yourself to find closure. In fact, closure can most confidently be assured if you restrict it to just you.
You see, closure is letting go, it is resolving that it is resolved, and if you have issues with someone you know, a parent, a friend, a professional colleague, whomever…no matter how badly they treated (or mistreated) you, the only way to overcome the pain and to have closure is to make it happen within yourself.
If that person is really as bad as your think they are, then even if you had the chance to talk with them to clear the air, so to speak, what would you do if they stayed true to form? If they were unreasonable and mean when you knew them, what makes you think they will be any different now as you try to attain the closure you need to get on with your life? In truth, going to the ones you need to have closure from might just widen the gap even more!
Do you really need anyone else to find closure? No. Trying to get closure by dealing with the ones you need closure from is not the way to go.
In my book, closure is just another word for forgiveness. The only way to stop the pain of having been mistreated is to forgive the one that did it to you. And the first step in being able to do that is to remember that when you forgive someone, it doesn’t affect in any way their relationship with God- for what they did to you, God will repay (Proverbs 20:22).
The second thing to remember is that forgiveness of others affects your relationship with God because God wants us to forgive on earth as he forgives in heaven (Matthew 6:14).
The only way to be certain that you can find closure to the pain you have suffered from being mistreated is to forgive the one who mistreated you.
Here is the third thing to remember, which has really helped me in getting closure through forgiveness: to make it easier to forgive that waste of flesh who hurt you, pray for them.
I know, because I have been guilty of this, that people who cruelly lash out and hurt others do it because they are hurting even more. So much so that they cannot contain it so it is directed at others, for no other reason than the person doing the hating hates themself so much they have no control over what they do or say.
When you accept that as truth, which I know it is, then you can’t help but feel sorry for them. Yes, what they did was wrong, and (as I said) they will have to deal with God for that, but as for you, your closure can only come when you forgive that person.
It isn’t easy, it goes against the flesh (as does almost everything that is pleasing to God), but when you constantly work at it, it will get easier and easier until one day you realize the pain is gone. You can talk about the event without hurting and without getting angry.
To recap, the way to achieve closure is to forgive and the way to forgive is to take it step by step:
- Remember that forgiving them will make you right wth God, not them;
- Recognize the pain the other person must be feeling;
- Pray for them to make forgiving easier for you.
Remember how Yeshua prayed for those who were crucifying him and said that they didn’t know what they were doing? Well, even if you are absolutely positive that the one who hurt you did know what they were doing, so what? They will have to deal with an eternity of suffering, so whatever suffering they caused to you is really nothing compared to what they will have to go through, is it?
Closure from the evil people have done to you comes more easily when you accept that your forgiveness of them will make you right with God and you will have eternal joy, whereas (unless they change) they will suffer forever.
And if you really love the Lord, God, and are thankful for his forgiveness of your sins, then knowing that someone, anyone- even that horrible person who hurt you so badly- will have to eternally suffer hell’s fire, well…if that doesn’t make you feel sorry for them and want to pray for their repentance, then I feel sorry for you.
Thank you for being there and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to both my Youtube channel and my website, buy my books, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please make sure you agree to the rules when you join).
That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!