Extended // Significant Others - Part 4 [Devo]

Silent Before Its Shearers

How do we deal with difficult family members or situations?

When I was younger, my older sister and I seemed to get along pretty well. There is quite a bit of an age gap between us, due to her being a child of a marriage my dad was in before he met my mom. As she and I got older, I started to form my own opinions and ultimately become my own person. In the process of me growing up and learning things for myself, our relationship changed, and she became harder to see eye to eye with. I love her, and she is my family, but over the last several years, she is one family member I have struggled to communicate well with.

I couldn’t tell you when it all changed or exactly what it was that changed it. All I know is that our relationship has been rocky for a while. The hard part is, if I knew how to fix it, I would. I can just imagine — no more arguments, no more family drama, no more lies, no more harsh words, no more vulgar tear downs. Wouldn't we all love that!? Unfortunately, I can’t control how everyone else in my family reacts, but one thing I do know is, I can control how I respond. I can either add fuel to the fire or help put it out.

In the Bible, we see several sibling rivalries, including the first, Cain and Abel, and the second, Joseph and his brothers. I think about how these stories could have been different if the people involved were quick to hear and slow to speak. James 1:19-20 says this:

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

This past Sunday, Pastor Tim emphasized these verses, touching on how the tongue is a powerful thing. He said that putting these verses into practice can actually benefit a difficult family member or situation. I always try to remind myself that I do not know it all, I simply do not have all the answers, so sometimes, staying quiet or being slow to speak may actually be the answer.

Back to my sister… I have learned the best way to handle our sometimes rocky relationship is actually obeying James 1:19. Not being quick to speak or getting angry, but rather, listening. I do not always have to add fuel to the fire because I think I know what is best.

By living out the verses above in my relationships, I have been learning how to let the one who actually does have the answer — God — take care of each difficult situation. If we want to look like Jesus, let us be slow to speak as He was… like a sheep, silent before its shearers (Isaiah 53:7).

Author: Abby Conner, Middle School Director