“It is truly wonderful when the people of God
live together in peace.” Psalm 133:1 CEV
CAUTION!!! This devotional may bother some of you!
My immediate family is responsible for the posting of this ‘poking and prodding’ message. Honest… it isn’t my fault. All I was doing was reading through my 1973 edition of the Living Bible. And as I came to my markings in Psalm 133, I started thinking about my family. Not my church family, my personal family… you know, Mom, Dad and siblings.
Now, for those of you who don’t know me well, I am the oldest of five children (so far, at least.) Next oldest is Dawn (Faith), then comes Wendy, then Cheri and finally baby brother Randy. (He may not be happy identified as my ‘baby brother.’)
We grew up in a pastor’s home; Mom and Dad are happily enjoying heaven together and the rest of us are scattered from Atlanta, to Dallas and Flagstaff and Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. As I thought about the five of us and our families, I began to smile. Both inwardly and outwardly. I considered how well we have always gotten along, the fun we have when together and the absence of fighting, holding grudges, suspicious behaviors, clouded looks and untold other ailments that wreck relationships.
I told Joanie the other day that as my immediate family all move into our ‘later years,’ we’d be happy to take over an entire wing of a nursing home… just to hang out together. We’re that close!
Now, I am being purposefully light hearted and whimsical saying such a thing. None of us want any part of a nursing home… but here’s the truth. I wish everyone reading this had this kind of relationship with everyone in their family.
But I’ve done enough counseling over the years to know the sad truth. Few of us have made it very far in life with all relationships intact. Some of the brokenness can be easily blamed on others. Some may have had poor parenting. Some have been hurt by family members.
May I butt into your lives a bit? This is not just about families. Life is too short not to invest in all our relationships. Some people may not care about getting along with you, but your spiritual obligation is to always be a friend to gain a friend. Jesus wants all of us to be rich in patience, heavy-handed with the mercy we give, and determined to as much as is possible, live peaceably with those who surround us. Here’s my relational standard for you this week:
“How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters
get along!” Psalm 133:1 MSG