I mentioned yesterday that my brother was facing a divorce. I never really liked my sister-in-law. I didn’t think she liked me so I wasn’t going to waste the time on her.
Then one summer my brother and her decided to visit. I discovered on that trip that I liked my sister-in-law. I mean, I really liked her and may even go so far as to say that I loved her.
The more I opened up the door to a friendship with her, the more I began appreciating her. I knew that my family was not the easiest bunch of people to assimilate into and so I tried to make her feel as comfortable as possible when I was around her.
She was one of my dear friends.
Now that she is divorcing my brother it would be easy to jump over the fence into hate.
I have not made that jump. I still love her.
It is interesting to note that my mother never liked her and now my brother says that she is mentally unstable.
I listen to both of them but keep my opinions to myself.
My sister-in-law was temperamental but that is a far cry from mentally unstable.
She is also the mother of my two nieces. Every time I think about responding in an ugly manner to her, I think how it may affect my relationship with those two young women.
It is a tenuous path of discipline and self-control to sit on the side lines and see her hurt my brother but I have held my tongue when I wanted to lash out.
This morning in church I was reminded that we can grieve the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:29-32
“29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
This trial, which vexes my heart, I am sure also saddens God. It is important for me not to speak evil of others, even if they are doing what I consider an evil act.
It is my privilege as a Christian to keep leading those who are so beset by evil back onto the path of faith and love. Even if they don’t want to be on that path, I need to keep shining that light.