[This post is a part of the Survive Your Family sermon series]
This week we continued our series for our middle school ministry about family. There is no doubt that at times we all feel like we are just trying to survive our own families. We feel like our siblings have dedicated their lives to driving us crazy. We feel like we don't understand how in the world the other members of our family can act in such away. We experience hurts feelings, divorce, and more. Families are made up of sinful people and because of that our families often hurt each other. As we continued our series, this week we focused on specifically being a Christian should influence our relationship with our siblings.
Filling in their shoes...
If you've had an older brother or sister, there is a high likelihood that at some level you felt like you had to follow in your brothers or sisters footsteps. As you moved up to a new grade, you were always met with expectations to be super smart or a good-off like your older brother or sister. Or every time you met somebody you were "so-and-so's sister." The difficulty that comes in this situation is that comparisons are a dangerous trap.
If you compare yourself to others, you will feel artificially good about yourself or you will feel worse about yourself. You will compare yourself to someone (your older brother or sister or anyone in the world) and you will either think, "at least I'm not that bad" or "I'll never be that good." Comparing yourself never does good because you focus on how God created somebody else instead of the unique way that God created you. In Galatians 6:4-5 (the message) it says,
"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."
But they get on my nerves...
If you have a younger brother or sister, they probably annoy you. That's the job of a little brother and sister. I constantly would get annoyed by my younger siblings; I'd throw things at them when they tried to hang out with me and my friends, and I'd get way too upset if they starting copying me. But that's what younger brothers and sisters do. And older siblings look at you like your little. They are mean sometimes because they want to make sure that you know they are older, wiser, and more mature than you. That's the way older siblings always act. So what do you do about this?
Unfortunately, you probably won't get them to stop doing this anytime soon. But you can change the way you treat your siblings. You can treat them the way that the Bible challenges us to treat people. You can put your faith into practice and love your brothers, your sisters, your parents. When Paul talks to the church in Phillipi he gives them instructions and says, "whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put into practice." When you interact with your brothers and sisters, put your faith into practice. Forgive them, apologize, serve them, welcome them, and love them.