A Discussion of my New Philosophy Concerning my Brothers.
Let me say first of all that I love my brothers. I love them ever so much. However, I have not been the sister they need me to be, and I’ve been letting other things cloud my vision and distort my view of my actions. I’ve justified correcting them over and over again on the grounds that they needed to improve in a given area – when I need improvement just as much as they, but nobody follows me around and makes comments every time I do something the least bit imperfect.
Luke 6:42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
I had (have) ‘beams’ in my eyes, and I’ve been so concerned with carefully picking out every infinitesimal speck in Mark and Steven’s vision… nearly bashing them over the head with the ‘logs’ sticking out from my eyes in the process – not to mention frustrating everyone concerned with my gross hypocrisy.
This came to a climax the other evening, when I again criticized my oldest brother Mark’s table manners. He was hurt and embarrassed. Daddy and Mama had had enough of my behavior and Daddy and I went to my room to have a talk after dinner was finished.
Daddy spoke lovingly yet convicting-ly to me, and told me that I need to treat Mark and Steven like the nearly-all-grown young men that they are… with respect, and admiration for all their good points and the potential in them to be something wonderful, instead of focusing so much on their small faults and criticizing them mercilessly for every tiny mistake.
Why had I been so blind? Mark and Steven are wonderful young men! They are so intelligent and kind and loving. They each have so many gifts and wonderful character traits. They’re amazing. What was I thinking??
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.
Had I done this? NO! I hadn’t preferred Mark and Steven above myself. I was only concerned about my wants, my needs, and my “right” to boss them around! I have no right to correct Mark and Steven – they are my equals, not just ‘little brothers’. That phrase “little brothers” doesn’t even make sense any more because they literally tower over me. Such big, strong men! And I’ve been trying to order them around like a cocky little bantam rooster. How silly and wrong of me to have done so!
As the daughter and sister in my family, I should be looking for ways to help and serve my family members. I should be making peace, instead of causing strife. My words should be gentle, my thoughts kind, and my actions sweet and blessing to my dear family. My hands need to be eager to work for the benefit of my home, and my feet should be swift in running to help out wherever I am needed.
Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
Proverbs 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
I can talk all day until I’m blue in the face about heart changes and proper behavior, but what really matters is acting all this out and practicing what I ‘preach’. I am sincere. I mean what I am saying here and I truly am trying to change. Habits are difficult to break, but I will be endeavoring to train my tongue to speak kindly and gently, saying what God wants me to say instead of that other influence that’s been working through me these past years.
James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (22) But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
“Superfluity of Naughtiness”. You know that sarcastic teasing attitude? The one that flourishes in any gathering of teenagers? It’s fun… for you, at least… not the person or persons you may be teasing. But it’s sin. Sin is usually fun, have you noticed? At least for a while. However, there are major consequences.
I know what proper, godly behavior is. Or at least I have a pretty good idea. But if I don’t put it into practice and be a doer of the word…
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
I’m sinning! If I am not doing what I KNOW is right, I am in sin!!
James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
James 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Truer words never were spoken – “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” How many times I wish I could have rewound time and erased that one little fiery comment that sparked a whole big huge fight or disagreement. Bridling my tongue and not saying everything that pops into my head is something I will definitely be working hard on!
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
^This is one reason I have decided to make this a public blog post. It’s my confession, of sorts. I hope you will pray for me as I work on this area of my life.
I want to be a shining light, and my desire is to be a priceless, valuable part of my family… not something that needs to be cast off so that the rest doesn’t decay.
With God as my constant helper and aid, I will be a good sister and daughter, and I will bring glory to my Lord and Savior in it.