Growing up, I remember hearing the phrase, "I will love them, even if it kills me!" I also heard, "I will get along with them, even if it kills me!" Why would I be reminded of this saying? Maybe because "I have a friend" who has relatives home during this time of social distancing!
I am not making light of this pandemic but I do think some of us need to think about this inconvenience aspect of being stuck in our homes together. God says to pray about everything and I think this needs to be prayed about in many homes! Can I get an "Amen"?
Several scriptures come to mind. 1 Corinthians 1: 10, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” Paul says we are to agree with one another, with no divisions or conflict. In ancient Greek, “division” meant the ripping or tearing of fabric. Paul was begging the church in Corinth not be ripped apart. Drama comes up - especially during social distancing! Another Amen? Conflict comes up between siblings, parents, spouses, kids, friends, etc. We may not be able to avoid conflict just like we cannot change others but we can watch how we react. Just like the church Paul was writing to, each group thought they were right and everyone else was wrong! Sound familiar? Paul said, let “there be no divisions among you.”
Uncertainties, no job, no school, boredom, anxiety, depression, no income, extra mouths to feed, health, fear and many other things can keep us at odds with our sisters and brothers. Let's remember family takes care of each other - and it may be your church family, neighborhood family, work family, friend family, etc. Siblings, as children of God, is a great blessing and can be a challenge. During trials our characters reveal themselves. Hopefully, growing up with a blood sibling, we were forced to learn how to be flexible, sensitive, selfless, resilient, patient, forgiving, self-controlled among many other things. We expect our family member's to be sensitive to our needs. If they do not respond in the way we want to our emotional and physical needs we are hurt and offended.
I tell you everything we need to know is in the Bible. Stop and think about it. Jesus had a difficult family. We know He had siblings based on what Mark wrote. Mark 6: 3, "Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him." Jesus' siblings did not appreciate Him! Mark 6: 4, "But Jesus said to them,'A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.'” When Jesus was in trouble, his brothers were not around. Mark 3: 21, "But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him,for they said, 'He is out of His mind.'” They were not just not proud of Jesus but they were embarrassed by Him!
How did Jesus handle this? I do not think He tried to control their behavior. He also did not let them control His behavior. I will repeat that. Jesus did not let his siblings control His behavior! He did not pout when they insulted Him. He did not go out of His way to please them. He did not expect them to agree with Him. Neither can we expect our siblings to agree with us on every issue. We cannot control their reactions. Only ours.
I don't know if Joseph affirmed Jesus in His ministry but we know God did. Matthew 3: 17, "This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him." Let's try to be more like Jesus and please our Heavenly Father. Let's try to get along with each other even if it kills us!