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My family is at odds. How do we reconcile?

The answer to this question is in knowing Christ as my life. The approach is two prong: (1) ponder deeply the life of Christ — His thoughts, emotions, decisions, actions as He dealt with each unique individual along the way [John 6:28,29] and (2) allow God directly or through your counselor to search you and see if there “be any hurtful way in me” [Psalm 139:23,24].

You will recall this passage from Hebrews 12:


Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses [faithful men and women, see Chapter 11] surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,

“My son do not regard lightly the discipline of the LORD, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the LORD loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

The point is this: the path of faith through life is encumbered not so much by the circumstances and people we encounter but by beliefs and attitudes we transfer into our new creation life. These old patterns of thought (“hurtful ways“) ensnare us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus causes us to “thirst and hunger” for his beliefs and attitudes. It is through these new beliefs and attitudes that the Holy Spirit empowers us to take actions that demonstrate our confidence in God in violation of our age old fears, doubts and otherwise self-centered purposes. Such a God disciplined lifestyle will result in the “shedding of blood” as you choose, in an act of prayerful obedience, to interact in kindness with offensive and hostile people who are not “controlled by the love of Christ” [2 Corinthians 5:14].

How will the world know that we are His disciples if we do not demonstrate redemptive love for one another within the family of God in the mist of hostility [John 13:34]?