The final installment in the Brothers and Sisters series is written by the middle Mally sibling, Stephen. Stephen leads a discipleship group for young men and co-leads “Just Men” conferences with his father, encouraging young men to be strong and courageous leaders in God’s kingdom. Today he encourages all of us to strive for more than just an average relationship with our siblings… even if that means letting the other person win.
Before we get started, however, Stephen has supplied a few helpful definitions of key terms:
- Home: a place where you can say what you think, but no one listens.
- Argument: when two people are trying to get in the last word first.
- Cooperation: doing what I tell you and doing it quickly.
- Peace: the period of confusion and unrest between two wars.
- Diplomacy: the art of letting someone else get your way.
- Opinion: you can have your own as long as it’s the same as mine.
- Females: people who take their time taking your time.
It all started very simply… You see our house is not very big and that makes it hard to find enough room for everything. One day, when Sarah was fourteen and I was eight, she started complaining that her desk didn’t have enough room. The real problem was that she had too much stuff. I, on the other hand, had a desk with lots of drawers, and because I don’t horde “stuff” like a few other family members [names have not been listed to protect the guilty] some of the drawers were still empty. Guess what happened next?
You guessed right. Sarah actually came and asked me she could use one of my drawers for her stuff. I (being the shrewd businessman that I am) said, “Sure! But for a price.” So, we drew up a rental contract for six months. We both signed it. She paid me the money, and I rented her the drawer.
About ten months later I said, “Sarah, get your junk out of my drawer! Your rent is up.” She replied, “I don’t have anywhere else to put it. I want to keep renting it.” But I said, “No, I’m not making that deal again.” She said, “Stephen, you have to! I have no where else to put it.” The pressure built as we both began to state our views more strongly, neither of us seeing any negotiable options until finally, I (being the shrewd businessmen that I am) took the drawer and dumped everything on the floor.
If you’re anything like me, you like easy things. When there is an argument going on, even over something foolish, the easy thing to do is to keep on arguing—it’s what comes naturally to our sinful hearts. We always want to get in the last word. The hard thing is to drop the argument and let the other person win, especially when you are sure that you are right and they are wrong (as, of course, is always the case). This requires meekness. Meekness is being able to give up our wants knowing that God is in control. Meekness is entrusting our pride, our possessions, our reputation, and every other aspect of our lives to God, knowing that He will take care of things. Meekness is understanding that vengeance belongs to the Lord, not to us.
Some people think that to be meek is to be a wimp. But when you really think about it, meekness is not being weak at all, because putting on an attitude of meekness and humility is an incredibly hard thing. It is actually the stronger person who will humble themselves and be willing to “lose.” As rebelutionaries, we cannot settle for an average relationship, or even an above-average relationship with our siblings. God wants us to be best of friends, working side-by-side in His kingdom.
The Lord never promised us that the Christian life would be easy, but He promised us that it would be worth it. Being best friends with our brothers and sisters and enjoying their fellowship and comradeship is just one of the amazing blessings. I challenge you, as I must constantly challenge myself, to follow in the steps of Jesus, taking the narrow, uphill road—the hard one—knowing that you will reap an eternal reward.