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  • Hanrie Marais

How To Avoid The Classic Genesis 4 Sibling Rivalry



“Found my missing sweater when my sister posted a Facebook pic of her wearing it.”


Has that ever happened to you?


Yeah, it never happened to me.


Why?


Because I was the one wearing the sweater (LOL).

Now this calls for some sibling rivalry advice.


I’ll have to admit, it took me a while to realize that I was wrong, but discovering the truth, has set me free and given me a new perspective on how to build meaningful relationships.


Here we go...


It was a normal day, going about my business, doing the dishes, cooking some food, and getting ready to share some exciting news with my sister (we shared a flat at that time). After dinner, I told her the exciting news and she didn’t seem happy at all.


She responded with:


“It’s difficult to be happy for you when you aren’t happy for me.”


I was shocked and mad. Suddenly I thought of all the good things that I’ve done for her, like washing the dishes, cooking the food, cleaning the floors, not wearing her clothes anymore (this was kind of a deal-breaker). With all these thoughts rushing through my head I started to reason with myself:


“How does she even dare say that to me, when I’ve been doing all of these things for her?”


At that moment I was reminded of the saying:


“Remove the log out of your own eye, before you remove the speck out of someone else’s eye.”


I continued reasoning:


“Pffft, I don’t have a log in my eye! My sister has a log in her eye! I’m mean, really? I’ve been doing all these good deeds so far?“


It took me about 2 months to realize that the Holy Spirit spoke to me on that day. I was blinded by the pride of my deeds, that I couldn’t even see the log in my own eye. Over the course of those 2 months, the Holy Spirit faithfully guided me to read 3 stories in the Bible, all of them about siblings, to show me that I’m the one who needed change.


Martha & Mary


In Luke 10:38-42, Martha invited Jesus to her house for dinner. During the course of the evening, Martha was preparing the food, and Mary, her sister, sat down to listen to everything Jesus had to say. Martha got so obsessed with all the work she had to do, that she went to Jesus and said to Him:


“Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”


...Sounds familiar?


Jesus responded with:


“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”


It became clear to me, when I read this story, that when we bring the challenges we have with our siblings before God, he doesn’t necessarily correct our siblings, instead, He heals us.


What do I mean with this?


Jesus didn’t tell Martha, “Okay, give me a minute, let me quickly rebuke your sister for not working hard enough, and then I’ll command her to do some work”. No, Jesus addressed Martha.


When we pray and ask God for guidance about our siblings, be ready to receive a Word, a Scripture where God wants to change you.


Be ready to say “Lord, change me”.


Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.


The day I was reminded of Matthew 7:1-5, God spoke to me. Reminding me, that comparing myself with my sister, based on my deeds, is not the Gospel and it is not what Jesus came to do for you and me. I learned that whatever I’m going through, with whoever the conversation might be, my response should always be:


Lord, change me.


And so, after 2 months, I realized that I was wrong. I had to change, by removing the log out of my own eye and apologizing to my sister.


Today, our relationship is more important to me than the feeling of being right.


(For story #2 & #3, go read Genesis 4:1-8 and Luke 15:25-32)
















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