Most of us say we hate to have our pictures taken (me included), but we enjoy looking through the family photos and reliving those memories. Some photos put a smile on our face, while others bring a sense of loss, heartache, grief, anger, or bitterness.
We are, by nature, a selfish lot. We don't mean to be. Most of the time we don't even notice it. But our feelings are our primary focus. We see things from our own point of view, causing us to argue over little, inconsequential things. Those things can cause big rifts in a family. We need to ask ourselves: Is this a point worth losing a family relationship? What is the importance of this issue?
Does your family album bring pain and sorrow, or joy and peace when you look at it?
If there is a rift in your family, can you be the peacemaker? Does it matter who was at fault? If you are a Christian (a follower of Jesus Christ), does your attitude reflect the love of Christ?
As we read scripture, we see a beautiful portrait of Christ painted in scenes from Genesis to Revelation. In Genesis He is the slain lamb in Eden's garden, on Mount Moriah, and even vaguely seen on Joseph's coat (a kid's goat here). We see the blood dripping from the door posts and lintels as the mass Exodus of God's people occurs in Egypt's mourning, wailing land. Down through the Book of God we look at Him as a scape goat, a smitten Son and throne-less Sovereign.
In Isaiah 53 Christ is seen as a tender plant, uncomely, despised, rejected, oppressed, silent and cut off. Zechariah gives us a picture of the wounds (not healed scars) that He got at His friends' house (the nation of Israel's religious leaders).
Jesus suffered more than any other human being before or since, yet He forgave, never held a grudge, never refused to forgive. In fact, as He hung on the cross, He pleaded with His heavenly Father to forgive those who tormented, persecuted, and prosecuted Him. How can we then hold grudges and break our families apart over a harsh word spoken in anger? How can we throw our family ties away over a thoughtless word or action?
What does your family portrait look like? Can you make it better? Scripture has the answers.