Sibling Rivalries

I do not have a biological brother. I love my three sisters and I miss the one I recently lost, but I always wanted a brother. The Bible is full of stories about brothers. Not all of those stories are happy ones, mostly because of “sibling rivalry.” Sibling rivalry is jealousy. Often it is the result of a child believing that one or more of their parents favor a sibling. Sometimes it happens because one brother tries to dominate the other. In the case of Cain and Abel, the first two sons of Adam and Eve, Cain felt that Abel was favored by God, because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice but rejected his. Unresolved jealousy leads to bitterness and hatred often with tragic results. Then there was Jacob and Esau. God made it clear the Esau would serve his younger brother Jacob. It did not seem right to Esau who was favored by their biological father. The mother of the two favored Jacob. As a result, Jacob deceived his brother and their father at the suggestion of the mother and the two brothers were separated by hatred and fear for much of their lives. We all know the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph was favored by their father and blessed in a special way by God. Joseph let it go to his head. The brothers hated him so much that they planned to kill him only to sell him into slavery at the last moment. Here again years passed before the family relationships were made right. The problem is dealt with in the New Testament as well as the Old. Jesus told the parable of the Prodigal Son. Here the older of the two brothers was angry when their father forgave his younger brother and welcomed him back into to the family. The Bible is clear on the matter. Whenever God’s intended relationship of love and respect between brothers or sisters is broken or marred it is a sin. We are to be our brother’s keeper. Jesus said if you remember that your brother has something against you go and make it right before you try to get right with God. That applies to our fellow man and to our biological brothers and sisters. Right or wrong get right with your brother or sister and I’ll see you in Church.

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