FLAKY FAMILY MEMBERS
Then He said: "A certain man had two sons. (Luke 15:11)
We have heard it said that you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. That is so true. God has blessed us with family and we receive so much love and support from them. But what do you do about those flaky family members? You know, the ones that give you a hard time, treat you bad, never accepted you, gossip about you to the other family members, owe you money, or are the unreliable, flaky kind? They are the ones that make your blood boil when you think about them or when you anticipate seeing them on the holidays. Do you give them a turkey sandwich at Thanksgiving or a knuckle sandwich to the moon?!
Flaky family members will test our fruit of the Spirit to no end. That’s why God allows them to be in our lives. It doesn’t mean you have to let them walk over you or take advantage of you. It just means your agape love will be tested in the context of family probably more than any other relationship. How do we know if we possess the love of Christ if we are never tested and never have to use it? How high is the watermark of God’s love in my heart? A flaky family member can so often give us a good reading.
You remember the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15? There was a hurting family if ever there was one. The one son received his inheritance early and went out and spent it all on prodigal and wasteful living. The other son had resentment against his brother and felt his father was too accepting. Hearts were being tested. The wayward son’s heart became repentant. The loyal son’s heart was embittered against the flaky family member. The father’ heart was full of love the whole time. He let go his hurt and all the pain his son had caused him. He ran to receive his erring child and cooked up the fatted calf. He was home safe and sound and needed assurance of his father’s love and forgiveness and a fresh new start.
Hmmm . . . I wonder what’s in my heart?
“Oh God, give us hope and love for flaky family members!”