[So Joseph went after his brothers and caught up with them in Dothan.
They noticed him from a distance,
and before he came up to them, they plotted to kill him.
They said to one another: “Here comes that master dreamer!
Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here;
we could say that a wild beast devoured him.
We shall then see what comes of his dreams.“] (Gen. 37:17b-20)
Reading the story of Joseph and his brothers should strike us as appalling. How could the brothers of Joseph be so jealous of him that they’d decide to leave him for dead in a cistern? What initially was probably just feelings of sadness of their father’s preferential treatment of Joseph grew into intense anger. Their anger eventually evolved into a volatile jealousy breeding division.
Division is one of the greatest weapons of the devil. As the old adage goes, “Divide and conquer.” If we are divided it is much easier for the devil to pick us off one by one, but when united he has to work much harder. Jesus always brings unity. He reconciled the world to God i.e. united us once again with God. The unity Christ brings is much like a bunch of twigs bound tightly together. When tied together the twigs are difficult to snap in half, but it only takes a quick bend of the finger to snap one twig on its own.
Am I harboring anger, jealousy, or resentment in my heart towards someone? Have my failures to embrace Christ’s teachings of forgiveness and unity caused divisions?
“Father, help me to see how wonderfully You’ve made me. Jesus, grant me the patience as I interact with someone I struggle to get along with. Holy Spirit, repair and strengthen the bonds of unity between myself and them.”