When Family Hurts You

 

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“The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other.” – Mario Puzo

Ever felt hurt or betrayed by family? Or maybe someone you love or held in high esteem suddenly became untrustworthy or strangely deceitful in behavior? 

At some point, we all experience it. Disappointment in family choices and behaviors can cut deep to the heart like nothing else. When you feel like you truly know someone–his or her heart or intentions–and then witness disloyal or secretive behaviors from them, it can leave you feeling abandoned, confused, and ultimately bitter. In the end, it’s the legacy of family who’ve gone before us that gets tarnished when one or more remaining family members are disloyal.

As I’ve wrestled with this topic in my own life recently, I was reminded of God’s picture of family loyalty and good stewardship throughout His Word. The Bible is clear that loyalty to God demands that we be loyal to others. Here are just a few Scripture passages on loyalty and responsibility:

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).

“He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise” (Proverbs 11:29).

“A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live” (Proverbs 15:27).

“Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

“And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48).

“It is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).

“If people say, ‘I love God,’ but hate their brothers or sisters, they are liars. Those who do not love their brothers and sisters, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen” (1 John 4:20).

It’s obvious that God desires for us to be loyal. It’s also obvious that He desires us to be good stewards of what we’ve been entrusted. When family is involved, these principles should take great priority over any of our (intentional or innocent) selfish desires. As decent, moral human character seems to be a lost concept in our world today, we must fight all the harder at staying true to who our Creator designed us to be.

Lord, may I never be disloyal to family, but rather an example of godly, upright character and selfless love. May I always put the feelings and needs of others before myself. When entrusted with much, may I honor You in my management and leadership. And ultimately, God, may you receive the glory for it all!

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