This free daily devotional is scheduled to resume on November 7th.
Abraham said the same to Lot when there was strife between their herdsmen: “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren” (Genesis 13:8).
The address which Moses here makes to the two Hebrews who were fighting each other and Abraham to his nephew Lot should be applied to all contending brethren: “Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?”
Generally, the word “brothers” is used to indicate individuals who have the same parents. We also speak of brothers in the faith, since we share the same faith. Our Lord says: “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50). In this one statement, our Lord places all who are of the same faith into one family. Paul concurred and wrote in agreement with the Lord that we should treat the aged men as fathers, the aged women as mothers, the younger men as brothers and the younger women as sisters (1 Timothy 5:1-2). We are one family in the Lord.
In Genesis chapter 4, we are introduced to the first pair of brothers and we see the elder killing the younger and ever since that time, brothers (sisters included) have been at odds with each other (Genesis 4:1-8).
Why? There are many reasons. But it all boils down to this three letter word called “EGO.” “EGO is a three letter word that kills a twelve letter word called RELATIONSHIP.”
James wrote: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” (James 4:1).
Selfishness, that’s what James is saying. Selfishness is ego in action. It is all about self-pleasing. But a harmonious relationship thinks of others. “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Philippians 2:4).
Whether it is between husband and wife, among siblings and friends, or in church, loving and respecting the other individual is the first step toward a peaceful relationship. It takes “two to tango” and likewise, it takes two to maintain a harmonious relationship. As long as there are two persons in the same room, there will be conflicts. Therefore, how should the Christian resolve this conflict?
- Recognise that we are brethren. We are the family of God. Family will have differences among its members; but family sticks together. The words of Abraham should always ring in our minds when we are having conflicts with each other: “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee … for we be brethren” (Genesis 13:8).
- Recognize we are Christians. How should a Christian conduct his life? With love, of course! Our Lord says: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). The scripture says: “He who loveth God love his brother also” (1 John 4:21). A Christian who says he loves God but hates his brother is a liar (1 John 4:20).
A loving relationship is one that forgives, is tolerant, patient, kind, humble, not selfish, and does not hold any resentments (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Paul admonishes: “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another,” (Romans 14:19).
The scripture says: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). It means we are to do our best to live peaceably with all men. Sometimes it cannot be done but it should be because of the other party and not us; the Christian should desire peace with all men, especially our brethren.
“Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?” Instead of be wrong one to another, let us seek to be right with one another: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).
Psa 119:97 Oh how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.