“This is understandable but resolving unfinished business doesn’t require extraordinary drama. It all starts with God – realizing that He draws especially close to the broken-hearted”
-Russ Ewell, When God Isn’t Attractive
Every day people take jobs, get married, have children, and join churches with a great deal of their personal business unfinished. What is unfinished business? It means we have past behaviors and issues shaping our present actions in unhealthy ways. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, I had unresolved family business with my father as we grew distant through my teenage years, never seeing eye to eye. There were many empty promises that led me to resent him. This led to me having a difficult time emotionally attaching to friends, other family members, and especially God. This unfinished family business affected my personal relationships as they were never the deep or meaningful. We learn from Chapter 5 titled “When Emotions Become God”, from Russ Ewell’s book, When God Isn’t Attractive, when our emotions become our God, we walk around with unfinished business. Hurts that haven’t been healed and bitterness that isn’t overcome keep us on edge and damages relationships. When our unfinished business creeps into our heart, it can easily turn us against God. How can we resolve our unfinished business? While we cannot go back in time and change an event, God can help us have a change of heart.
Your hearts are as hard as a field that has not been plowed. If you change your ways, you will produce good crops. So plant the seeds of doing what is right. Then you will harvest the fruit of your faithful love. It is time to seek the Lord. When you do, he will come and shower his blessings on you.
Hosea 10:12 NIRV
The Bible describes our unfinished business as “a field that has not been plowed.” An unplowed field cannot grow crops. Similarly, a heart that has undealt with emotions from our past cannot grow. How do we change? We have to seek God. When we seek God, we learn about and understand His heart, our heart, and how He heals our hearts. We learn about God’s mercy toward us and can learn how to show mercy to others, which is an often critical component for dealing with unfinished business. As this scripture teaches us, when we seek God, He will shower blessings on us. One blessing is to understand and resolve our unfinished business. Are you aware of your unfinished business?
Absalom did not say a word, good or bad, to Amnon. But he hated Amnon for disgracing his sister Tamar.
2 Samuel 13:22 NCV
Strong emotions are often a warning sign that we have unfinished business. In this scripture, Absalom never resolved his relationship with his brother, Amnon. Absalom hated Amnon for what he did to his sister. That hatred led Absalom to kill Amnon. Too many of us are frustrated by our lack of ability to build close and lasting relationships and yet we are unaware or are in denial about the unfinished business we need to resolve. Walking around suppressing our negative emotions, sets up the likely hood something will trigger specific unwanted emotions. They eventually destroy our spiritual and emotional ability to connect with people and God. If we are willing to explore the roots or these emotions and confront our unfinished business we can free ourselves from what holds us back from building fulfilling, deep and lasting relationships. Who do you feel close to? Who really knows you?
This is My command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 VOICE
God wants us to enjoy the beauty of relationships. This passage teaches us that God is faithful and loyal as he remains with us wherever we go, including the journey of discovery and resolution of our unfinished business. God doesn’t want us to be afraid, He wants us to turn to him for guidance and peace to resolve all the emotional baggage we have carried in our lives. Take on the challenge of praying to understand where our emotions come from – unfinished relationships, unfinished experiences, unfinished thought life, or unfinished guilt.
To learn more on how to overcome unfinished business, read chapter 5, “When Emotions Become God: Increasing Our Emotional Awareness,” in Russ Ewell’s book, When God Isn’t Attractive.