Program Success Magazine March 2013 - Page 31

PROGRAM SUCCESS – 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 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.”