You let your mouth loose in evil And your tongue frames deceit. “You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother’s son. “These things you have done and I kept silence. Psalm 50:19-21
Nothing stirs up our flesh like family rivalry. The personality and gifts of one child can be celebrated more than the uniqueness of another child. Or, a mother favors one while the father favors another. From birth, affections and privileges can be divided. It would appear that harmony among children is often doomed from the start.
Siblings can spend their lives at odds. The tension is never resolved. Family inheritances only add to further alienate relationships. Even in old age, the stuff of youth is rehearsed. A bystander in their thirties marvels that brothers and sisters in their seventies are still arguing. Not until they get much older will they understand that childhood offenses seem like yesterday. A brother or sister can be despised all the way to their deathbed because of something that was done or said during their teen years. Because our past replays vividly on the jumbo screen of our heart, the wounds stay fresh.
Love, respect, favor, and wealth? How can life-long prejudices dissolve? Someone new must arrive on the scene to offer something that is greater in value than what we lost. Someone has ~ and His name is Jesus. Healing for severely fractured families is possible but only as they come together to love and worship Jesus. As each one’s appetite is transformed by beholding the beauty and glory of Christ, the stuff that comprised their arguments seems miniscule. Every family member comes to realize that what they had been fighting over is a trinket compared to the gifts Jesus freely offers. And, He is no respecter of persons.
Perhaps I have a life-long angst regarding other members of my family. All I have to do is think about that person and my insides are churning. Being loved by Jesus and becoming emotionally engaged with my spiritual birthright melts away resentment. What I seek, I already have in Christ. It may be hope deferred but it is real and it is mine. If it doesn’t seem like enough to my heart, I must ask God to open my heart to incomparable gift of Him! Is He not powerful enough to transform my affections?
Open my spiritual eyes to see the value of You and everything You long to give. Help me re-orient my soul so that my hands are clutching You instead of things that perish. In Jesus name, Amen
Journal Question: What memory from childhood still haunts you? What is so unfair that the hurt it generates eats away at your flesh like a cancer? What are you trying to extract from another family member that you could abandon today for what Jesus offers? Today can be the day you turn a page in your history. How badly do you want freedom?