“Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother’" (Mark 3:34-35).
I’ve often wondered why most of my conflict occurs with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. They are the ones I struggle at getting along with the most. They are the ones that I get extremely jealous of. They are the ones that are sometimes the hardest to love.
I think Satan would be perfectly happy if we lived our entire lives totally consumed with fighting fellow believers. For when we’re caught up in each other, we really can’t reach out and minister to others. We’ve become caught in a trap. We bite and tear our brothers and sisters down, instead of joining together, putting aside our differences, and learning to love with the love of Christ.
This verse above, from Mark 3:34-35 spoke to my heart as I read it today. In these verses, Jesus makes a distinction between his earthly family and his heavenly family. His earthly family had just determined that he was “out of his mind” (vs.21). They thought he was crazy for such stories and healing all the people. Perhaps they even thought he was possessed. Whatever the case, they clearly were not following God on this matter. They didn’t yet seem to believe that he was the Son of God. On the other hand, Jesus’ heavenly family included all of the people who did believe that He was the Messiah. It even includes you and me! We, also, are considered Jesus’ brothers and sisters. What an honor! And how undeserving we all are.
As hard as it is, I have made an effort to love my fellow brothers and sisters. This hasn’t always been easy. There have been times in which I’ve had to pray for years for a certain person, asking God to help me love them. The beauty of surrendering my feelings to God, though, is that he answers back tenfold. He has blessed me with some wonderful friendships, friendships that started out rocky at first, but through love, turned into something wonderfully deep.
My encouragement to all of you today is to not let Satan get a foothold in your relationships. Don’t let personalities, or jealously, or harsh words come between you and your sisters and brothers in Christ. Instead, give the relationships over to God. You won’t be disappointed.