Sunday, 23 October 2011

FAMILY FEUD (from 1890)

I was having lunch with a business colleague from Canada and we got talking about how people can be utterly vengeful over trivial matters sometimes to such extents that it continues to affect generations!
He went on to tell me the story of his Serbian and Croatian neighbours back home. Apparently, the both the neighbours never spoke to each other to the extent that even their children did not play with each other. But strangely, when everyone was at work or at school, the grandmothers from the two houses would walk out of their houses and meet at the gate of my colleague and chat for a long time! These people (except the grandmothers) had left their home countries for the promise of a better life in Canada but had not shed their vengeful sentiments!
This also reminds me of my own great grandfather and the feud he had with his uncle over property matters in 1890! Both houses stand almost next to each other. The children from both homes were told never to go to each other’s houses nor play with each other. I remember very clearly as I grew up in my uncle’s house, how he would have bitter fights with this neighbour long after their own fathers had died without forgiving each other. Whilst the fights continued, the one good thing my uncle and mother did was that they did not feed us with hate-filled thoughts against our neighbours. The opposing party also did the same! So as we grew up, the youngsters from both houses played with each other and even ate at each other’s houses and now we have grown up as friends! The irony of it all is that my uncle died without ever reconciling with his foe. The neighbor survives but he boycotted the funeral of my uncle! I thank God that both the parties did not infuse such hateful thoughts into their children or else the feud would have continued even in this generation and maybe even the next!
Christianity is not a club. You don't have to dress a certain way to be a Christian. You don't have to only listen to approved music. You don't have to belong to any particular denomination. All you have to do is believe in Christ and do His will. His will is to love God and to love each other.
We call ourselves Christians but we do not live Christian lives. We are ready to fight over trivial ‘doctrinal’ matters and allow religion to divide us. We won’t even take time to delve into the word of God and study what God has done for us and what he continually does for us. We fail to understand His will for us.
Let us reflect on the following scripture: John 13:34-35- "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Our Lord calls us to love with an AGAPE kind of love. Not an erotic or a familial love but a ‘sacrificial/spiritual’ kind of love!
From Acts 2:42-47, we know that he early Christians did it!
"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."
Let us therefore end senseless generational feuds, if they still exist and live proper Christian lives and add many more to God's kingdome through our LOVE!

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