Our God Understands and Helps in Our Struggle to Maintain Good Relationships with Others

Brian Tracy says, 

“Relationships are the hallmark of a mature person.” 

And maintaining good relationship with our close family members, colleagues, fellow brothers and sisters would ever remain as the greatest necessity though it could be sometimes the biggest challenge. As we grow in spiritual maturity and in our relationship with God, maintaining good relationship with others canbecome easier than before. Why? Because God helps us when we seek his help in maintaining good relationship with others. Our thought for reflection this morning is, “Our God Understands and Helps in Our Struggle to Maintain Good Relationships with Others.”

Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim”
(Genesis 32:1-2)

Jacob’s heated conversation and departure from Laban must have convinced him that there was no possibility of he and his family, ever returning again to Paddan-Aram. At the same time there was no guarantee of a warm welcome from his brother Esau, who had even more reasons for bearing grudge and hatred towards him. Since Jacob had deprived Esau of his father’s blessing, he would have been really worried and feared to face Esau.

1. Jacob was overwhelmed by fear of rejection.

It is very interesting to note that Jacob’s preparation to meet his brother Esau was interrupted by a vision of angels in Genesis 32:1-2. Knowing very well Jacob’s anxious state of mind, the angels from God met him. He could have thought that Esau would reject him for deceiving and robbing him of his father’s blessings. That encounter with the angels could have been a reassurance for Jacob that God was still in control of his relationship problems with his brother and that He would protect him even if he was rejected. Are we often troubled by fears of being rejected by those around us?

2. Jacob was overwhelmed by fear of revenge.

Jacob must have feared that Esau might try to seek revenge for the wrongs he had done to him in the past. He could have thought that not only his own safety was in question but also the welfare of his large family. The report from Jacob’s servants must have doubled his fear: 

“We went to your brother Esau and now he is coming to meet you and four hundred men are with him”
(Genesis 32:6)

“In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups…”
(Genesis 32:7)

Do we fear that those with whom we have relationship problems would take revenge against us?

The visitation of the angels suggests that God could have sent his angels to assist Jacob in his attempt to meet his angry brother Esau and to accompany him safely back to the land of Canaan. The same God would help us too, in our struggle to maintain good relationship with others. Let’s pray: 

“Dear Lord, thank you so much for understanding my fears and weaknesses. You alone know how much I am often overwhelmed by the fear of being rejected and by the fear that people may take revenge against me. Fill me with your grace and confidence in you that I may overcome such fears. Just as you assured Jacob of your presence and assisted him to overcome his fears, help me to overcome my fears of rejection and revenge. Believing that you are going to help me to maintain good relationship with others throughout this day and my life, I begin this new day.
In Jesus’ name,...  Amen”