Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 11, 2022

Tending To Our Souls

“Then they sent the tunic of many colors and they brought it to their father (Jacob) and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?”  Genesis 37:32 (NKJV)

Wounded hearts speak a language all their own.  We don’t often know the who, what or why but we feel the angst and bitterness which spews off their lips.  We witness the arched brows, the face twisted at the very mention of someone’s name.  We glimpse the avoidance and denial.  And while we are void of details, we realize the collateral wounds seeping deep into their heart.

Scripture reminds us of this downward spiral and the devastation found when one lives with this all consuming fire burning within them. Genesis 37 unfolds a familiar story – one we probably all loved hearing about as kids.  The giving of the coat of many colors to Joseph resonates with us all doesn’t it?  We would love to be the favorite, the chosen one.  Yet there’s a big problem with this picture.  Joseph was one of twelve brothers.  None of his other brothers received a special coat from their dad, Jacob.

Jacob’s favoritism drove a deep wedge among Joseph’s siblings. The evidence of their father’s devoted love to one versus all of his sons wounded their hearts.  Rather than confront their father, the excluded others allowed hatred to take root.  No kind words did they have for Jacob’s favorite.   And then Joseph chooses to tell his brothers about not only one dream but two dreams where they are bowing down to him.  Not exactly perfect timing on Joseph’s part. Deep seeds of hatred flourished as envy rose to the surface.

Fast forward to Joseph’s brothers tending their father’s flock in Shechem, and the spiraling hatred intensifies until they sell him off to the Ishmaelites.  Returning home, this band of brothers deceived their father into thinking Joseph had been killed by a wild beast.  Only his blood-stained coat of many colors remained.

How could a family become so unloving and distanced?  We find a clue in Genesis 37:32. Unresolved hatred, anger, bitterness and envy opened wide the door for wounded brothers to wound their own. No longer did they refer to Joseph as their brother; he was their father’s son.  Sharp words echoing in the overwhelming grief.

Quite easy to judge the response of Joseph’s brothers.  Bet we would never have hated, envied or disowned one of our own.  Yet we’d better unveil our eyes and reexamine the dynamics within our own relationships. Whether it’s family or not, deep wounds can separate the closest of bonds.  And once distance takes root it’s easy to write off, dismiss and leave them behind.

Love these reminders from God’s word on how we should build healthy relationships:

Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19-20)
Be humble, gentle, patient  and full of peace (Ephesians 4:2-3)
Avoid the worldly draw to envy and jealousy (I Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:20)
Don’t be easily provoked (Ephesians 7:9)
Face your anger but sin not (Ephesians 4:26)
Love God and love others (Matthew 22:36-40)

Just  a sampling of the wisdom of God who knows and has seen the devastating impact of wounded hearts who wound others.  Sweet friends, let’s choose today to tend to our souls.  Heal our wounds and walk in obedience with the One (Jesus) who by His wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).

“Father, help us to truly love others the way You have chosen to love us. Heal our wounded souls so we can love and not wound the people you bring into our life.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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