Saturday, July 6, 2024

July 6, 2024 Posted Thoughts on Family Rivalry

 Who told you are unworthy? Who told you are worthless? Who told you you would never amount to anything? Words I heard from one of my beloved relatives who has taken a lifetime to voice the pain and rejection felt when she was a child, a teenager, and into adulthood. Influence is so powerful when a person seeks acceptance, appreciation, encouragement, and unconditional love especially by a parent, relative, friend, or even the community. 

I finished a study on Genesis this week and the lessons (on my blog) I had not connected with before I sure did glean so much about the family dynamic starting with Abraham to the story of Joseph. The focus was on the kids in these families. The dysfunction between a husband and wife highlighted in their moments of favoritism leading to dark sibling rivalries. The desperate need to gain the love of a parent the siblings act out in jealousy, anger, and vicious vengeance. It is a fascinating study because I can completely understand the relationships in my own family. I am sure every person can see the good, the bad, and the ugly of the connections or non-connections in their family. 

I don’t know about you, but I am drawn to stories. A good plotline. An intriguing conflict. And a realistic resolution. The Bible uses visually powerful language intertwined in a very authentic family where the intensity of the plotline seems to seal gloom and doom, but then one hinge pin in the storyline brings about a culmination in the ending revealing revelation of  wrongs, forgiving, and a loving reconciliation of siblings who could have held on to hatred and vengeance, but instead the resolution is a beautifully account of undoing the past through self-sacrifice. 

At a recent funeral, the family who holds onto grudges, filled with anger and bitterness, came together in one room. The strain between siblings can be felt in the air. It is almost suffocating and very uncomfortable. God uses the family narrative as a teaching tool that leads imperfect people in imperfect families to a moment of making a choice to let go of the past, to forgive, to accept the healing power of reconciliation. Sad to see siblings late in life (60’s & 70’s) still holding fast to resentments that only drain the heart, mind, body, and soul. My hope is at the end of my life it will be a celebratory event filled with happy tears knowing I am with the Lord. 

But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept” (Genesis 33: 4).

“But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them” (Genesis 50: 19-21).

****God’s face shows up when there is a rupture in the human to human relationship 

May God Bless you and your family. May we be those who forgive. May we be the path for reconciliation. May peace be within us so the bitterness has no root in our lives. Prayers for each person who needs to forgive and who needs to be forgiven. We have Jesus who is our redeemer, reconciliation, and the perfect example of self-sacrifice. May He watch over all each day as we walk in this fallen world as representatives of Christ who died on a cross and rose for all us. He is your hinge pin in the narrative story of your life. (read my study on Genesis-type Hilldale in search for whole study) vote matters, so check out how you can make a difference)

Zach Williams - Survivor (Live from Harding Prison)