Processing Disappointment #4

I appreciate all of the Givers who wrote back and shared their grid, but I was quite jolted by the fairly uniform perspective.  It is not one I feel comfortable with.  Simply put, most Givers reject most offers of caring, with a high reactivity to the issue of perceived insincerity.

In my head, I understand that the Giver tribe is heavily bent toward risk abatement and that the Prophet tribe is equally intensely bent toward outrageous pursuit of vision, at the expense of all logic and caution.  Having said that, however, I struggle significantly with the Givers feeling legitimate in editing out most incoming caring as being too high risk.

I bring two frames to bear here.  First is the issue of God’s propensity to be messy.  If we zoom out far beyond care and compassion, God has delivered an awful lot of wonderful gifts to me of all sorts, through some rather messy and insincere and hurtful messengers.  And this is not just for me.  As I look through Scripture, many of His gifts would not have gotten past the guards at your doors.  That concerns me.

Second, on a macro scale, we have the rather horrifying statement, “He came unto his own, but his own received him not.”  This singular failure by the Giver tribe to receive a rather wonderful gift that came in a rather unexpected package still reverberates through history.

My posture historically has been to risk big in order to receive the most.  Let’s look at deliverance and inner healing from that pragmatic perspective.  At least 25% of all the people who have ministered to me have been damaging or defiling.  Another 50% have been useless.

In spite of the fact that I have a 75% chance of not getting better, I have continued to seek out ministry to become whole and dangerous.  It is a choice.  And it has gotten me far, far down the road, because some of the rough, crude, messy people happened to have a piece or two I needed.

In terms of caring and compassion, I very much agree that a lot of people are serving themselves in the way they comment or the e-mails they write me, while purporting to be serving me.  This is a very common problem with all kinds of volunteers.  I further agree that there is a big difference between what we have in our hand to give, and what the other person actually needs.

I found the discussion of shiva to be interesting.  Basically, I would use the word “synchronize.”  Wise comforting involved synchronizing with the hurting person and letting them lead you in showing what flavors of comfort they could benefit from.

This is simply un-American.  From caring for the baby in NICU to dealing with nations on a global basis, we are so very sure we know what someone else needs and are happy to deliver it in a drive-by shooting style.  Finding what the other person’s needs and desires are is a foreign language to us.

So we have a dysfunctional comforting modality in our culture.  Not going to change any time soon.  I can understand my Giver having a belly full of the nonsense and hiring a thug to block out all unsolicited comfort, as a means of not having to deal with the hurtful stuff.

While I understand that, I do not accept it as representative of my values and my lifestyle.

I risk to gain.




So I had a blunt discussion with the thug and sent him off to North Korea to find something else to guard.

I had a perspective-broadening discussion with Giver and deployed her in a different sector of my life.

Then I brought Exhorter and Mercy to the front, to edit incoming offers of caring and to determine whether to let them in.  As you will see one of these days, if we ever get there, the Exhorter gift figures largely in this whole dynamic.  So if this is where God is going, we should lean into His plans.

And I brought Mercy because she is among the more grounded and non-reactive portions of my spirit.

So that is my restructuring for the moment, so I can get back to the process of dealing with the disappointment that we started with.

That said, it is obvious that we have a stupendous opportunity here for a new skill set to be developed.  What would it look like for someone to facilitate a small group, with a couple of hurting people and three or four people who would like to be comforters, so we could learn how to follow the hurting person, instead of trying to lead them.

This is an old, old skill in other cultures.  It would be a foreign language here, but certainly would be of immense value if we could learn it.


Copyright August 2016 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub




  1. Anonymous says

    God has me revisiting the principles in the 6th head of Leviathan, the principles for the Ruler for PROGRESS to happen. So I am seeking to find a win/win situation for all.

    Engaging with a prickly prophet is risky but I refuse to give up pursuing synergy. I believe in what God has given SLG and have lost count how much time, energy and money invested in support of and being part of this tribe.

    My family DNA is Giver from South Africa. I come from a tribe of visionary Givers that risked everything for the next generation. I was born Giver in a Giver nation.

    I appreciate God’s unique design of the Prophet and it is good that the Giver is different. There must be a catalyst for synergy to flow between the two.

    A cat·a·lyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

    I seek to find that substance that allows the Giver/Prophet to assimilate without destroying the way each was designed to be for the fullness of the Body of Christ to be expressed for the next generation. My entepreneurial, Giver father used to walk to this drum beat – “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

    Maybe the Prophet/Giver interaction should be a whole new thread but my hope is to open up dialogue surrounding this. I am curious why you referred to your Giver portion as feminine?

    At the risk of being excommunicated from the tribe

    Comox (Salish for Wealthy)


    • says

      All seven portions of your spirit have their own gender. I have not met anyone who is all male or all female in their spirit. I happen to have a female Giver portion. Not unusual.

      Liked by 1 person

    • says

      Further to the above, I have been considering whether the Exhorter might be the catalyst that sparks synergy between Giver/Prophet? The reason being is that I truly struggled to respond to “Processing Disappointment #4” until I processed with an Exhorter friend. Thereafter, it was a breeze to respond appropriately. What was so interesting was that she never coached or suggested anything. She was simply there on social media despite being on the other side of the world.


  2. nita7932014 says

    Thinking out loud. We each have a Gifting. We each have the ability to operate on each principle and ?each gifting or both? I checked out how I have been ‘comforting’. I apply the Servant ‘burden bearer’ ‘creature comfort’. I have applied the words of Teacher in a illustrative format as well as real time step by step example. I have applied the Exhorter ‘cheer leader’ approach as well as sharing of hope and joy. I have applied the Giver in actually providing financial aid. I have tried to provide the skills and administrative leadership from the Ruler portion. I have applied Mercy as best as I can. My face to face with my Giver has been to just ask for ‘a hug’ or something tangible. My face to face with a Ruler has been the biggest challenge. My face to face with a Teacher was confrontational and painful. My face to face with others have made for unexpected ‘trigger’ responses that have made for lots of cleaning up to be done. Your experience with the ‘disappointment’ has given me something to search out in my own life. My personal contacts are centered around my children and my grandchildren. The Lord told me that my ‘ministry’ would be my family. I do learn so much from what the Lord has taught you and the way in which you share. Thank you. The new keys for me were from the group. “following and not leading” Thanks again for sharing.
    Will be praying for Denver.


  3. says

    Trembling as i write here not to be one of Jobs friends but with the exhorter portion bubbling up in me…I have been following and reading Arthur’s insights for a few years and i have sometimes wondered how hurt you must have been with the titbits that pop up in some of the stories.

    What would happened…to use your words… if you walk the trail of disappointment/ or irritation with people back into your life. Follow the TPM principles:( you have mentioned it before so I assume you know it:)

    Focus on the emotion, see where it first surfaced or where it was strongest in our life, then go to the memory and find what is the believe that is in that memory. It is probably a lie and then you are right where you are so comfortable,, with God and he can tell you the truth about the lie. And after that give the Spirit free reign, i know it is basic TPM, but it has always worked for me and I use it daily in between Spirit work.

    However Disappointment as well as Fear is hard to allow oneself to connect with because we are geared to protect ourselves from the negative…so you might have to ask for help from someone you trust. And since you trust…very few…you might have to start looking at why you do not trust people…and might just come back to disappointment…

    There is a whole crowd of onlooker cheering you one.
    And i live in the Middle East…peace is hard to find, but in some spots we have it.


    • says

      I love your style. Peace is hard to find, but in some spots we have it. Nicely put! And nice to know you are there and have been tracking.


  4. Katie says

    I hear you loud and sorry for your pain.i do not have the answer,but I sit with you in your pain and wait on God to speak.


  5. Devorah R.G says

    As I kept pondering all of this, I had a thought: what if accepting sympathy from people increases the spiritual weight of a difficulty, which sets one up to receive greater compensation for the experience, spring-style?! This possibility is making me reevaluate some of my interactions with a few people. Perhaps doing grief more or less thoroughly also makes an accounting difference…


  6. sandra says

    As I am reading these posts that bring so much life with them, I see over my lifetime how often, how much He has tried to speak to my spirit! ie when all around me I saw mercy, I could not accept mercy for myself, He had to soak me in it, but receiving was slow and sometimes painful. When all around were signs of grace and favor, I saw it clearly, but accepting it for me was very hard, until He soaked me in it again for a long time. The hope side of me is strong for others, still hard to accept myself.
    Now, all around, including on this thread I see Him at work soaking our spirits in love, and even, some worship songs coming out about just being and allowing him to hold us!! Is He gifting the body of Christ at this time with healing our trust, teaching how to just Be with others, so our spirit may come alongside other spirits in love? Is He growing our love for others?
    Arthur, been there, still am there and resting with you

    Just ponderings……….

    am Canadian, can tell you about our province if you desire more, we have been in major drought this year, and situation not good here! Many of us are praying for our province and country.


  7. kdpolo says

    Is it possible your disappointment experience is related to the timing of your trip? Tisha B’Av is a grievous date for the children of Israel. I wonder how Father God sees it?
    I salute you for coming out of the “cave of disappointment” to reach for healing/comfort even though it is messy.
    Your courage encourages me. Thanks.


  8. Kevin says

    Part of the rejection of help by Givers stems from two areas:
    1. The ability to see how all the pieces fit together better than the person trying to help. In other words, the comforter attempts to bring understanding (which the Giver already has) rather than comfort.
    2. Treat others as you would like to be treated means offering a Giver what a Giver needs, not offering what the comforter would need in a similar situation. All gifts experience this, but the Giver is keenly aware when this is happening.


    • says

      Kevin, I think part of the breakdown has to do with the word “need.” Often someone outside the Giver feels that his needs and his wants have gotten confused.


  9. Nerina says

    My favorites story is about this old man sitting on his doorstep crying his heart out. A mom and her little boy walks past. The boy goes to the old man, sits next to him and cries too. After a while the boy gets up and goes back to his mom. She asks him what that was all about. His reply was simple.. ” I don’t know, I just helped him cry.”

    Sometimes that is what we need most. Someone to cry with us and not to fix. To tune in not try to change the channel.

    Thank you, Arthur, for being so real and risking more dumb answers. We, as a tribe have much to learn and especially not to decide beforehand what someone needs.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. louisebowley says

    You are right. We lead rather than ask and in my own healing journey others have put things on me and not asked what I needed for comfort. Only recently in counselling has this been done when the question: “How can I help you to feel better? What can I do to help you with the fear?” came up.
    We are so bent on solving and fixing that we don’t stop to listen to what the person may actually want us to give.
    Many times (because my social skills aren’t so good either) I don’t know what to say or to ask either in the given situation. I feel awkward even though emotionally I can empathize but I can’t express it very well. I use the wrong words and make the wrong gestures.

    So.. What comfort do you actually need in this disappointment?


    • says

      In reality, I don’t know what I need. Few humans do, although we so readily coach God on what to give us as though we did know.

      All I can tell you is what I would like to have which usually is quite different from what God knows I need.

      I wish I had either more faith, or some perspective so I didn’t need faith (how is that for carnality this early in the morning!) I had expected to go to Algonquin, be disconnected from people, have ten days to ponder the message for this Saturday, and return, full and overflowing, refreshed and revived, ready to engage on Saturday.

      Instead I find myself healing and pulled between two worlds. I spend part of my day looking back, working to fail forward from the Algonquin incident, and part of my day looking forward to Denver, trying to refine the message in my spirit and express it in my soul. My sense is that the Denver event is the biggest thing I will do since Nurture Your Spirit in Austin, and I so wanted to be at my very best, spirit, soul and body. But I am not.

      I FEEL a huge disconnect between the two parts of my life. It is like my living room is from a farm house in Iowa and my kitchen is from an apartment in San Francisco. It takes a lot of energy to go back and forth between the two worlds.

      My theology says this is Father filtered and the debacle in Algonquin will SIGNIFICANTLY improve and enhance my time in Denver. My soul isn’t feelin’ it! I wish I had faith in my spirit to sail through this week with poise and dignity, secure in the Master’s Plan. And since I don’t have that faith yet, I wish I had perspective in the natural to see how they fit together. But since I have neither, I bumble along.

      The second thing I wish is that there was more respect from the tribe. Here is a picture. Suppose Mr. Mega Man took fourth place at the Olympics, missing his medal by one tenth of a second. He has been pouring out his life for 12 years, focused on this one, single shot at fame and he comes up short. I can absolutely understand that he would be devastated. BUT I would not attempt to comfort him at all because I have not remotely walked that way. My athletic career began and ended with striking out at kick ball in 6th grade.

      I welcome dialog with the tribe. I am always open to people who are experimenting with their ideas and words, trying to find what fits. That is my world. But I wish some of the all-knowing pontificators who have never even remotely walked where I am walking, would either put a cork in it, or go solve global warming, bring about peace in the Middle East or find a cure for cancer.

      I think Mr. Mega Man would find it hugely disrespectful if I tried to comfort him in his loss based on how embarrassed I was to miss the ball when I tried to kick it in 6th grade. I also would appreciate a bit more respect from people who have done little, but who claim to understand how I feel and what I need.


      • louisebowley says

        Respect is a difficult one for me to understand as I am only at the beginning of knowing how to give and receive respect because of damage done to me.
        I have not walked your journey. I also do not like it when people claim to know feelings and needs.

        I would agree on the feeling that somehow your disappointment with your holiday may have something to do with Denver but that is from my spirit saying “yes” and not my soul. It is also onlu an inkling (as I have no idea of your feelings and thoughts on this).

        Comfort is a strange thing as sometimes we need physical touch, sometimes we need validation, sometimes we need a gift or some other thing. Sometimes we need someone to listen and really “hear” us without judgement and solution finding.

        I wish I could comfort in some way but I do feel helpless in being able to offer the right kind of comfort as many times I myself don’t know my own needs very well.

        I appreciate you sharing this journey of disappointment with us.


      • Renate says

        Could it be that the connection between the two parts, the Algonquin incident and the the Denver event, would be that you are earning high authority as you seek to connect with us while you are in pain?

        I will keep praying for you.


  11. Erika De Potter says

    “And it has gotten me far, far down the road, because some of the rough, crude, messy people happened to have a piece or two I needed.” I love this. That’s such an awesome way of looking at it!


  12. Nancy Jones says

    Thank you for processing your healing out loud. Wondering if part of sincerity of giver is also feeling not really known by the giver or falsely assessed… A deep need for me, that is protected, is to be adequately known or at least not falsely judged. If someone gives a gift that feels like they misjudged or found inadequaties, easier to not recieve, rather than align with their “false” judgment of me.


    • says

      Absolutely, Nancy. When the gift email begins with, “I am sure you must be feeling X . . . ” as their explanation for the subsequent gift attached, I sigh. The SLG tribe has an extraordinarily large number of mind readers and most of them flunked remedial pre-kindergarten. But they merrily run around telling me and everyone else what we are thinking and feeling.


  13. Devorah R.G says

    That is some good language and some good discussion fruit.

    Thanks for the “sent him off to North Korea” laugh!!


  14. Katie says

    This reminds me of what we are required to do in a support group I am in.We are required to let each other feel their pain. We can’t try to fix one another but sit “with” ..”be” with someone as they feel. And when they tell their story,just listen with no comment.


    • Lee Ann says

      I could benefit from being in a group like that. My initial reaction for years when someone I knew fairly well was in pain was to try and “fix it”. It wasn’t because I thought I knew what they needed, but came out of a heart that strongly felt their pain (like a satellite receiver!). I so desired them to not hurt. In examining motivation, I realize that it’s not only about helping them, but also about helping me, because I’m also feeling their pain. What Father has had to teach me was that many times their pain was being used by Him to accomplish something. When I tried to help stop the pain, I was getting in the way. I also needed to learn to give that pain to Him–I didn’t need to carry it, but could still intercede for them.

      Arthur, thank you for sharing this with us. It has so many facets to it and is so deep. It is hard for many of us to receive.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Sonia says

    Arthur, I appreciate this so much! I’m revisiting some disappointments in this last year with Father because of your courage to share your journey. I too have been thinking about how my spirit would want to synchronize with God to being with you and offering comfort.I’ve been revisiting stories that I’ve heard and what I could share. Here’s what I have so far. An undefiled massage. A visit with my heritage chickens. A red lentil soup with a slice of fresh warm bread. A crackling open fire in a fragrance portal with a recliner. Being still with you while you muse, listening while you speak and engaging highly when you are ready to be intense.
    I love your idea of a group! I’m in for this.


  16. Rosemary Williamson says

    RG of giver has been the one I have found most difficult to get a handle on … This post has helped clarify things a little more for me. You sound as though the bruising is starting to fade!


  17. Julia Smith says

    I have been quite cranky over some of the responses especially the initial ones!
    Could this be a relating to people thing rather than relating to what they bring?
    You continue to bless me with who you are.


    • says

      Julia, when my thug was editing incoming expressions of love, I was focused on the person and how they were positioned. And people can be dangerous. Now, I am going vertical and anticipating that God might send me comfort through some biped, so I look at each gift with en eye for what treasure He might have sent. That change of perspective matters. The tribe is the same as it was yesterday. But my willingness to believe that God can be larger than the people in the world, shifts a lot for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. colleen Killian says

    I am in the middle of this muddle myself. I am rebelling at letting another tell me what they need. And yet God is saying that that is important to the whole process. So what do I do when what the other person has not asked for is a harm to them if not given to them? That is tough for me to swallow. Is that tough love? Colleen in Kansas City, Mo.


  19. Ruth says

    May God wrap His everlasting arms around you and draw you into His huge God heart. For healing, comfort and restoration. And may He reveal His purpose in this. I am a Teacher gifting and so am still pondering all of this. I hope you smiled….

    Yes I have a few thugs, but recently I am discovering that as I shake and hide or even prepare to battle intruders, praying for help if the thugs fail, the intruders that get thru are not what or who I thought they were going to be. And yes, I remember the worse too. I thought I was the only one. So glad for your candor and willingness to do this.

    Thankyou for sharing with us. Blessings! I look forward to Denver seminar, meeing you. I have so much to learn from the Noble Subjects. I wanted to say how much you have helped me. God is using you to show me, teach me. To listen to His voice and to pray for others and myself. To pray against the enemy. To try to live for His kingdom in the design He created me to walk. This is all pretty new to me. My deliverance was almost 2 years ago, Sept. 29th. I praise Him for you and for this ministry. You have made a difference. Thankyou again.


  20. says

    We have actually tried a version of this on a couple of occasions. We gave people an opportunity to express their hurt and pain without having to be “fixed” by others who want to be perceived as the “great healer”. It was a stretch for the needy “healers” in the room. I totally understand the independence of the Giver….39 years of loving one….unconditionally! Blessings Arthur – Thank YOU for sharing!


  21. Paullette Boorman says

    Hi Arthur
    about the same time you experienced your DOWN as far as I can calculate I have had am having my own. It looked as though God had a gift for me but has left me in Job crisping his boils with broken pottery place. It is of great comfort to me that you too are human. I had often wondered what your special formula for not being broken by disappoint was. I so know what you mean when you just can’t function as you are used to feels like. (Hope I have reflected correctly). So much of my life is like that. I know I can function because from time to time I do. But a lot of the time I just wonder why.

    My exercise in finding joy is kind of stalled as I can’t find any. I am looking forward to you finding the answers, perhaps it will benefit me too.

    Even in your dark valley you are a huge encouragement. Thank you for sharing. I will see if I can’t get some of my portions assigned somewhere else instead of feeding the “guard at the door”


  22. Trish Smith says

    Hi Arthur, I believe you do not understand the heart of a Giver. The gracious Giver receives easily .. how else can we give if we do not receive?

    How can we synchronize with you? How are you feeling today?


  23. Soo Fee says

    I would use the word “empathy”.
    I find great comfort when someone says “It is not easy for you to go through this”. I think most of the time when we share our pain with people, we do not expect them to provide a solution to it. Sometimes we are just looking for empathy.
    Besides, acknowledging someone’s pain gives the person permission to feel the pain.
    Also, please don’t be to quick to say to someone that is hurting “I understand how you are feeling” because you have never walked their path. Only Jesus had.
    Just putting my two cents.


  24. says

    I want that skill. Might not be for a millennium, or maybe sooner but I do love when I can lean in, attune and listen with all my ears and get it right. Galactic fireworks go off. The people come back because I saw, heard and felt before speaking. I muddle it up badly & often with my exhorter words, jumping in with words no one can hear before attuning, But am Getting more skill daily and lots of practice. When I DO get it right…it’s like Exhorter’s worship, like that Volvo commercial where Van Damme does the splits on the semis going backward & Enya’s music plays and sunset fades. *Swoon* Exquisite. Elegant in the key of exhorter…. heaven, bliss. Like Calvin Miller’s end to his delicious poem The Table from morsel book Table of Inwardness: “heaven, earth and all of God are mine.”. Mmmmm…More, Lord, more.