Pastor Kent Munsey

“Relational Pain”

This is the account of Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.

- Genesis 11:27-32

Terah got stuck in the place of relational pain. His decision to quit held everyone back. So God called Abraham to continue with his plan. Oftentimes it's relational pain that keeps us from moving forward into our potential.

Relational pain comes to derail us from our destiny. Terah was Abraham's father. He was the one who was initially given the vision for the Promised Land. But when his son, Haran, died, Terah stopped moving toward the Canaan, and he gave up on the purposes and the promises of God.

The one thing that will sabotage your success and keep you from realizing your potential is relational pain. Bitterness because of relational pain will pollute our relationships, making us insecure, defensive, demanding, fearful, and controlling. Relational pain will pollute our relationships with others, and destroy our relationship with God (Hebrews 12:15).

The healing process in our life cannot begin until we are willing to reveal our hurts. Repressed pain and trauma will continue to affect us and even halt our emotional development. Whatever we keep in the dark God cannot heal. In order to get out of the place of relational pain, we have to do three things:

1. Reveal the hurt.

Whatever God reveals, he heals. Whatever we hide will continue to hurt. Get honest with yourself on a regular basis, get honest with God on a regular basis, and find someone else that you can get honest with on a regular basis.

If you've been hurt, you should be able to tell God and at least one other person. We’re not meant to do life alone. We should be able to trust and talk to our spiritual family. That means that we have to do the hard work of building trust and building relationships within our church family.

2. Release the offense.

Some feel entitled to hold onto their pain, believing the lie that revenge will make them feel better. Revenge will only cause more hurt and pain. If we don't release our hurt, we will resemble our offender. Holding onto offense is like drinking the poison and expecting the other person to die.

When we release the offense, we're not letting the other person off the hook, we’re releasing ourselves from the offense and letting God deal with the offender appropriately. Because of the unlimited, unending amount of grace that God extends to us, we are able to give grace to other people and release our offenses.

3. Remember God's redemptive power.

To redeem something is to re-value it. God is able to look at our pain and see it at face value as a weapon that came to destroy us. He does not diminish our pain, but he re-values it for our good and ultimately for his glory. Joseph said to his brothers, “What you meant for evil, God used for good,” (Genesis 50:20). In other words, “Yes, you wounded me, but God was with me and he never left me, and I'm better because of it.”

Our God is a redeemer. He can take all the hurt and pain in our lives and use it to empower us and make us stronger. Romans 8:31 says that if God is for us, nothing and no one can stand against us.

Because we live in a world with free will, sometimes people will do bad things toward us. In fact, they say that 90% of our stress today is relational stress. We don't have to be weighed down by relational pain, if we would acknowledge our hurts. The greatest way for Satan to get the victory in our life is if we never acknowledge our hurts. What's hidden cannot be healed or made whole.

Terah got stuck in relational pain. He surrendered to the weapon that derailed his destiny. When we suffer pain or loss, we can trust that our God is good, and he is faithful. When we reveal the hurt, release the offense, and remember God’s supernatural power to redeem, then we can keep on moving towards the purposes and promises of God. God never wastes a hurt.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. When have we experienced relational pain like Tara? Can you think of any pain or offenses that are holding you back from the purposes that God has called you to?

  2. Have you been honest with yourself and with God about your hurt?

  3. Who do you have in your life that you can get honest with about relational pain?

  4. When has God redeemed a pain from your life and used it for good?

  5. How can you start to release any offenses from relational pain to God?