If your life is anything like mine, you've probably spent the last week or two among a lot of family. The holidays usually bring about time with family members who you otherwise might not see on a regular basis. For us, we had my family here, and then, a few days after they left, we headed out of town to spend time with my husband's family. In the last week and a half, we have seen more than twenty family members--though the majority of the time was spend with our parents, siblings, and in-laws.
I can't speak for your family, but in our families, we have a lot of different opinions and viewpoints among us. Some of us are very black and white while others of us see every color of the rainbow; some of us value presents while others value presence. We are a mixed bunch.
However, as I've pondered this time, and as I've talked with a couple other family members about this, I've been reminded of Psalm 133:1 which says, How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!
We aren't all alike--God didn't create us to be cookie cutter versions of each other. He designed us with free will, with differing opinions and varying interests...and yet, He also spoke throughout the Bible about living in unity with one another.
He doesn't say we all need to agree on everything. He doesn't even say we have to like all of the choices someone makes or even like how they treat us. But, He does say in Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
This isn't always easy for me. There are things people do (family or not) that just flat out make me mad. Accusing me of behaving in a way that I wouldn't, not respecting me, treating another member of my family poorly--those things make me a little crazy. I do not like to see injustice, and unfortunately I am quick to feel entitled to "fixing that." But God tells us that justice is His, and I have to trust that He will take care of it. It's not my job to tell others what they've done wrong; I don't need to take matters into my own hands. The God of the Universe is quite capable of handling it, and I know that His ruling is always just and right (as seen through the redeeming grace of Jesus) whereas mine would too often be based on a momentary feeling or hurt.
As you finish out this year, will you focus with me on the unity that God desires? Will you willingly lay aside the hurts others have caused and "turn the other cheek" so that you can be Jesus to your family (and others)? I know it won't be easy,--it will probably be really hard at times--and I know I, for one,will probably mess it up sometimes, but I want to live at peace with others. I want to finish this year the way I want to live out next year--at peace with everyone. Will you join me?