I had 2 older brothers and so I learned real quick how to fend for myself. Like Joseph in our Bible Study this weekend, I often was the recipient of some harassment. Of course, from my perspective, it was totally unwarranted. And from another viewpoint, my brothers watched over and protected me!
Joseph and his brothers had some serious, life altering conflict. In fact, their relationship of abuse ending in forgiveness impacted the entire nation of Israel as they migrated to Egypt. Jacob and his family of sons showed very dysfunctional behavior as favoritism among the sons, violence, deceit, and lying permeated their family tree. Yet God worked in and among them as He had a “bigger picture” in mind.
Some truths from this Sunday Morning Bible Study certainly deal with family relationships. But we can also go beyond that to see how Believers are supposed to act in groups when the consensus goes against right behavior. Taking a stand when conflict occurs may cost us something in the immediate circumstance but may prove to be the right thing to in the long run.
Genesis 50:20 is the guiding principle (much like Romans 8:28) in that “what man planned for evil, God intended for good.” In other words, God can bring much good out of evil actions or bad circumstances. He is always ready to offer His loving arms of support and forgiveness as we also follow His rich example of showing grace to others.
Things to Ponder:
When have you had to take a stand for the right reasons even though it was not popular?Explain how group behavior can make an individual do things he normally would not do or say. How can you guard against compromising our principles in these cases?
Families can often be dysfunctional. Are you adding to that with your actions or attitudes? What changes can you make? What perspective do you need?
How has God changed your life for the good?