Battles Between Brothers: A Not-So-Civil War

Caribou Piece: Part 1

 

Battles Between Brothers

Today’s post stems from a recent class assignment: Visit a museum, choose a piece of art, and write on it. Carl Rungius titled this work Caribou’s Death Struggle. The two caribou battle to the death, but inadvertently lock horns. Trapped, the victor faces death himself.

When I saw this painting, I immediately thought of Galatians 5:15 (NIV), “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Holidays bring a great deal of stress with them, especially if you have a fun family, as in dysfunctional. Times that should be celebratory can end in hurt and anger. Let’s see what we can learn from these two caribou.

First, the fight. What caused it? A battle for territory? Possessions? A challenge of leadership? We don’t know. What we do know is that brother battled brother. They should have been on the same side.

Don’t they—and we—struggle enough without fighting each other?

I don’t see this battle as part of God’s intended order.

Not for His caribou.

Certainly not for man.

What’s to be gained from a fight?

The satisfaction of being right? Having the last word? Self-defense?

James 4:1-2 (NIV) reads, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.”

Yet, look at what’s to be gained from not engaging in the fight.

Grace. Humility. Brotherhood.

And—we live.

As we head into the holiday season, may this piece challenge us to show patience, mercy, and grace to those relatives who try to lock horns with us.

Workout of the Week: Not-So-Civil War

Memory Verse: Galatians 5:15 (NIV) “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Meditation Passage: James 4:1-2 (NIV) reads, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.”

Just Do It: Disengage.

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One thought on “Battles Between Brothers: A Not-So-Civil War

  1. I love this Gayle! We’ve been dealing with a lot of sibling rivalry in our house & these verses are perfect! Thank you & merry Christmas!