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The Healing Journey: Withdrawal

Withdrawal: to pull away, disengage, avoid tough conversations, stony silence, or refuse to acknowledge that something is wrong.

Scripture Reading | Matthew 26:69-75

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.


  • Is there a time in your life in which you have been like Peter: minimizing, withdrawing, or hiding your relationship with Jesus?

  • How did that feel or impact you?

  • What does withdrawal look like for you in your life?

  • What topics or conversations do you leave unaddressed or withdraw from? Why?

  • For you, what is the ‘elephant in the room?

  • What parts of yourself are you withholding from others?

Take the Journey to Healing

  • Relationships can be very difficult and complicated. Spend some time this week identifying those relationships that have been impacted by withdrawal. Spend time praying for these people and be open to ways in which God might help you to heal these distances.

  • Pray about those tough topics or conversations that you need to have. Ask God to give you the insight, the words, and the courage you need.

  • Remember, authentic relationships require us to be authentically ourselves.

Adapted by St. John’s UMC from resources created by Rev. Roger R. Sonnenberg

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