Program Success Magazine March 2013 | Page 31


Sibling Rivalry

Brother against Brother ; Sister against Sister ; Sister and Brother against Each Other
Sibling Rivalry is one of the saddest dysfunctional family relationships that exist and the Bible gives us several examples of this monstrosity . Among the many are Cain and Abel , two brothers who both brought gifts of their labors to the Lord . The Bible says Cain ’ s gift was rejected by the Lord and Abel ’ s gift accepted . The jealousy of Cain drove him to kill his brother . ( Genesis chapter 4 )
Then there was Esau and Jacob , again brothers , Esau the favorite of the father and Jacob the favorite of the mother . Jacob and the mother conspired against Esau and stole from him the father ’ s birthright blessing which gives special gifts , privileges , and the top leadership position to the first born son – which was Esau . ( Genesis chapters 25-27 )
Then there was Joseph and his brothers . Joseph was the youngest of 13 boys and receives special treatment from his father including privileges and a beautiful coat of many colors . Joseph was also a dreamer and one day dreamed of a time when his brothers and all nations will bow down to him . The envy of the brothers drove them to beat Joseph , throw him in a pit where without the interventions of one brother , they would have killed him . Instead they sold him to strangers as a slave . ( Genesis chapters 30-37 )
This strange example of human situational behavior we call Sibling Rivalry , from one time or another , has existed in all of our families . It is more than simple disagreement or dislike , Sibling Rivalry destroys unity and in many cases family relationships beyond repair because of its vicious retaliation . The Bible puts it best in James 3:16 , “ For where envying and strife is , there is confusion and every evil work .” This we see in the above stated examples .
Sibling Rivalry possesses the elements of Bitter Envy and Selfish Ambition , both inspired by the Devil . It is easy for us to be drawn into wrong desires in the name of Success . Far
Publisher ' s Editorial Darryl A . Barrs Sibling Rivalry Jacksonville , Florida March 2013
too often we hear the motivating cries from society ( i . e .: parents , teacher , friends , etc .) to “ Assert yourself ,” “ Go for it ,” “ Be the best … don ’ t settle for less ,” “ Set high goals ”, which sometimes leads down the path of greed and destructive competitiveness .
When we realize that we are all God ’ s creatures , created in our own special uniqueness with gifts and talents to excel and prosper us in this world , we then can seek God ’ s wisdom in discovering and sharpening those talents which will eliminate our need to compare ourselves to others and desiring what they have .
Sibling Rivalry is a serious problem in our families , society and even our churches . Brother against Brother , Sister against Sister , Sister and Brother against each other . We have bitter relationships that has spanned years , lifetimes , and even generation to generation , all because of our failure to properly handle disagreement and difference . There is neither Family nor Church Family exempted .
It is never a pretty sight to see blood brothers and sisters with irreconcilable differences . There is a great need for us all to look closer into our relationships with people especially those we dislike and are uncomfortable with . Be careful to check for envy and jealousy which may be the main culprit for our less then desirable relationship . Also note that the actions one takes against another out of bitterness very seldom hinder that person from becoming what God has destined them to be , however , those actions diminish the character and the quality of life of the offender .
Love is the answer . The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:7 & 8 , “ Beloved , let us love one another : for love is of God ; and every one that loveth is born of God , and knoweth God . He that loveth not knoweth not God ; for God is love .”