Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 – Day 12. Jan. 12 – Enslaved by Family Grudges

Study from Genesis 27- 28; Passage for Reflection: Genesis 27: 41 … NIV Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him.

My Journal for Today: Oh, how the parental wounds of injustice, insensitivity, or perceived inequity haunt our lives. Rereading the story of Jacob’s deception and the plotting of his mother to gain Isaac’s blessing for Jacob, and then the resultant grudge which Esau held for his brother, is a story which may be playing itself out in your family or families you know or maybe, even more personally, in your own life.

It is so easy to let wounds from our family past dictate our feelings for our parents or siblings; and they can become motivations for anger and bitterness, infecting our feelings, behaviors, and choices for many years after the incidents which may have caused the original anger or misgivings. Perhaps you have a sibling which you felt was more loved by your parents than you felt you were loved. Maybe you’re a parent who held feelings for one child more than another. Unfortunately these types of family scenarios can play themselves out in decisions or acting out much later in life, causing those who perceived ill treatment to reject family members or to plot actions which have vengeance as their motivation.

Today, in a very personal way, I’m thinking about how I let a misperception of my mother’s withholding of physical love drive me to do things in my later life trying to “make up” for what I felt were lost hugs and affection. I now recognize that many ill begotten and immoral sexual choices in my life were driven by my desire to find the physical affection I perceived I did not get in my youth. And it was a type of “grudge” against my parents which drove me to many actions later in life I now regret. Perhaps you, who read this, may have wounds from the past, maybe from your family, which have driven feelings of bitterness or behavioral choices which you now regret.

But the time is now, as a Christian, to take those burdens, … those feelings from the past and those desires for making things right, and lay them at the foot of the Cross, repenting of past sins and moving forward to love the God Who shows no favoritism and THE Heavenly Parent Who will never leave you nor forsake you. Holding on to past grudges or feelings of inequity of blessing will never drive us to expressing the love God had for us when He died on the cross for our sins. And the only way to reciprocate this love from God is to express God’s love into the lives of those who may have driven us from the past. We need to repent of hatred and haunting grudges; and then we must forgive those in our past who have “wronged” us. We must lay the burdens from these past feelings before God’s throne of grace, confessing them, and asking for the cleansing promised in 1st John 1: 9. And then we need to move on, letting go of any bitterness and finding the love God has waiting for us to fill the holes of lost love from our past.

I can tell anyone, from first-hand experience, that letting God deal with past hurts brings far more joy and healing than holding on to grudges or seeking vengeance can bring. God’s love is the healing balm; and our hope in Christ is the only way to drive us forward, letting that healing be expressed in how we worship our God and show love to others.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I thank You for giving me all the love I found wanting from my past; and I praise Your Name for giving me Your love to share with others, releasing me of any past wounds which had driven me to sinful living. My rebirth in You has given me healing and hope forever. Amen

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