Around the holidays many go through periods of anxiety and additional stress
because they will be in contact with people that are hard to get along with,
or ones we’ve experienced conflict with in the past.
Many of you may be in blended families or a loved one may be
in the process of going through a divorce or separation.
God knows that family situations can be difficult at times, so he left us many stories
in the Bible about dysfunctional families, so we can learn from their failures and see
how they overcame them.
The Bible says…Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man
shall see the LORD. Hebrews 12:14
This tells us that if we are living with strife in our life…we are hindering our relationship
When this happens, we experience all kinds of emotional turmoil and often sickness or depression.
God wants us to learn to deal with our problems, and sometimes this means walking away,
to avoid strife.
James the half-brother of Jesus wrote…
From whence come wars and fighting’s among you? come they not hence, even
of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire
to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Jacob and his twin brother Esau spent a good amount of time fighting with one another.
Jacob cheated his brother out of his inheritance, and then had to run for his life, and hide
out in a foreign land for 20 years until the situation cooled down.
He prayed for help and favor…and God brought him back safely to his home and family,
and rewarded him for making peace.
Jacob finally realized that his past was tormenting him, and he offered his brother Esau many
gifts that God had blessed him with, to try to win his favor.
By this time, God had softened Esau’s heart, and he didn’t even want the gifts…but realized
Jacob too had changed, and no longer was greedy like he’d been earlier in his life.
After their reunion, and the death of their father Isaac, Jacob and Esau lived together
in the land of Canaan for a time.
The Bible tells us that both men became so rich that the land was no longer able to sustain
Esau wisely decided to move his family and all his possessions, and start a new life.
He had forgiven his brother, but knew living together might cause strife and division
within the family.
He moved to Mount Seir, and started a new land called Edom.
Today you may be angry or jealous with someone in your family.
The bitterness is eating you up inside, and you don’t know what to do.
You may hate your father or mother for abandoning you.
They may have verbally abused you, and you have vowed to never forgive them.
Maybe you fought with your brothers or sisters as a child and ran away as soon
as you could get out of the house.
You go to church, but haven’t spoken to your family in years…and don’t intend to EVER!
Beloved, bickering, belittling, and blaming one another won’t solve a thing.
We must not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
Our weapons of warfare are the word of God and prayer.
The Bible says…And the servant of the Lord must not strive: but be gentle unto
all men, apt to teach, patient. 2 Timothy 2:24
Please don’t allow the spirit of unforgiveness to keep you locked up in
a prison of hate.
Jesus said, For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly
Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their
trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
I encourage you to lay your anger and resentment toward others
at the foot of the cross.
God’s word tells us…If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother,
he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen,
how can he love God whom he hath not seen. And this
commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God
love his brother also. 1 John 4:20-21
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we
love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no
murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 3:14-15
At one time Esau hated his brother so much that he threatened to
Both men suffered pain and sorrow for 20 years, because they allowed their
feelings to rule over them.
Don’t let this happen to YOU!
Put the sins of your brothers and sisters on Jesus’ account.
The blood he shed on the cross, paid everyone’s sin debt in full.
Make a decision to say today…It is finished!
As forgiven Christians, we must give up our rights to hold bitterness
and unforgiveness toward anyone.
Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again:
and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest:
for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful,
as your Father, also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged:
condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive,
and ye shall be forgiven. Luke 6:35-37
Give someone the gift of forgiveness this holiday season and watch
God transform your life and theirs into something beautiful and blessed.
He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
Father in heaven,
Your word says in Psalm 32…Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered. Thank you for the stories of Jacob and Esau, to show
us how to forgive and be blessed. Help us to forgive all who have hurt us
in the past. Today we lay our anger and bitterness at the foot of the cross,
and receive your mercy and forgiveness. Show us how to make peace
with our families, friends, and co-workers. If our ways are right with you,
you make even our enemies to be at peace with us. Bless us, so we
may be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Have a beautiful and blessed day.