The Bible tells some intense stories of sibling rivalry. Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers . . . their drama is worthy of the Jerry Springer Show!
Most of us have experienced sibling rivalry, but probably to a lesser degree. I doubt that you murdered a sibling, stole his birthright, or sold him into slavery. So what does God teach us through these stories?
Do you notice a common theme? Jealousy and hurt. “When [Joseph’s] brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him” (Genesis 37:4). Joseph’s brothers’ hateful thoughts turned into hateful actions when he told them about his vision of them bowing down to him.
Maybe you can relate to the brothers’ pain. All of us have felt slighted or less important than our siblings at one time, and it hurts.
When you’re the Joseph in a situation with your siblings, show them some love and be careful what you say. It’s natural to want to share the wonderful ways God is blessing you, but be careful how you do it. You might need to be gentle with the news of your pregnancy to your sister who just miscarried or your excitement about your lavish trip to Europe with your brother who’s struggling to make ends meet.
Sticks and stones may break someone’s bones, but words can break hearts and relationships.