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Division of the Family

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Is there currently a rift in one of your relationships? If so, then take some time today to examine your heart for bitterness, rage, anger and harsh words.

Scripture: 2 Samuel 15:1-17:14

"A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, ‘All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!’" (2 Samuel 15:13 NLT)

Oh, the deep cuts a family feud can make, especially between a child and a parent. Absalom, whose name means "peace of my father," never overcame his anger to find peace with his father. Even after he and David reconciled, Absalom’s anger harbored unchecked in his heart. His deliberate plot against David sent David on the run once again. This time, his enemy was his very own son.

Reconciliation often seems easier with friends, co-workers, or even acquaintances than with our family. Several years ago we had a few issues that caused division in my family. Both sides felt equally justified in their anger toward each other. Family gatherings changed dramatically. Eventually we called a truce, but something still feels off when we gather around the table for a holiday meal or to celebrate a birthday.

Many things can stand in the way of true reconciliation: pride, bitterness, anger, resentment, and miscommunication. We can’t overcome these in our humanness, but instead need God’s help. Let’s take a page out of David’s book and ask the Lord to “create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 NLT) It is only then that we can “get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)

Is there currently a rift in one of your relationships? If so, take some time today to examine your heart for bitterness, rage, anger, and harsh words. Determine if you’ve misunderstood or misconstrued that person’s words. And ask the Lord to cleanse your heart so you can be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. I think we’ll be surprised how different get-togethers, celebrations, and family reunions will be after God has cleansed our hearts!

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