By Guest Writer, Grace
As we have already seen, a life lived for Christ will have a wonderfully positive effect in our response to those around us, namely our siblings. The Scriptures are full of examples of this. I love the story of Joseph as it gives us a prime example in how Joseph followed the Lord, and he was able to demonstrate remarkable love and forgiveness to his brothers.
But just as our relationship with our siblings can be affected in a positive light by our relationship with God, the opposite is also true.
When we are lazy in our devotions, or turn a deaf ear to the Lord’s prompting for more study, Bible memorization, or prayer, we distance ourselves from the only One who can help us to have true love and appreciation for our siblings and those around us.
I’m sure we have all had times when we were struggling with a specific concept or conviction, and we found ourselves in a very touchy and irritable mood. Our responses to our siblings were probably not as they should have been, and we find that we had dug a pit of hard and hurt feelings that we later have to go and try to fill with repentance and apologies.
There are many things we do wrong that affect our relationship with the Lord that will also negatively affect our relationships with our siblings.
“Only by pride cometh contention; but with the well advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10)
“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4)
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
These are just a few, but as we can see, there are a number of things that can cause conflicts in our relationship with God. Conflicts in our relationship with God will cause conflicts in our soul, which in turn will cause conflicts in our sibling relationships.
We see that this has been a problem from the very beginning of Scripture. The story of Cain and Abel is found in Genesis 4, and from reading it we see that Cain’s conflict with God caused a very harmful and deadly response in his sibling relationship.
“Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” (1 John 3: 10b-12)
We would be wise to learn from this example and take our relationship with God seriously. All righteousness comes from the Lord, and if we are not living our lives in Him, we may very well sink down to doing some very painful or destructive things against the people we love and are closest to.
Come back for Part 3 tomorrow.