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The Fifth/My curse July 29, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Biblical/Theological Thoughts, Randomness, The Journal.

Today was a rough day. Nothing spectacular happened, however I felt my soul hit hard by thoughts of my brother. For those of you who don’t know, I have a 17 year old brother, he’s 16 months younger than me, so we’re pretty tight. About a month ago I had learned something about my brother’s past that has dramatically shaped how I look at my brother now. He went through an incredible traumatizing experience that certainly could have permanently haunted his life. Really praise God that Satan wasn’t given that chance, my brother has stronger convictions than most believers and I bet my life on it that he has greater convictions than some of the greatest speakers and pastors that have served God. It’s really more of a testament to God in how he has blessed my brother and how he’ll continue to bless him as he enters the ministry.

Now, when I had heard this history of my brother, it took me a while to fully process the gravity of what had happened to him. I was crushed as any brother would be, I love my brother and would lay down my life for him in a heart beat, that’s just who I am. But then I began to reflect on the life I lived with my brother. The person who had hurt my brother was in no way as a great a criminal as I was. For years I tortured my brother, calling him names, beating on him, pulling pranks, simple brother things really nothing to extravagant. But the entire time, for the better part of ten years, I had no idea the kind of hurt he suffered, I was never the bigger brother I should have been.

Not to toot my own horn, but I always felt like God did give me this personality that would willingly be there for the hurt of others, and I have actively pursued that since high school. Yet in ignorance I could not see the hurt that was right in front of me. Ten years my brother never told me this, and during that time my parents were getting a divorce and I had pretty much shut him out of my life. I was jealous and angry at him during that time. How come he was the more spiritual? How come he got the better grades? Was thinner and more athletic than I? All these questions buzzed around my mind creating a misguided and inappropriate disdain for my brother. What kind of brother am I?

I’ll tell you what I wasn’t, I wasn’t the brother who pulled my brother aside and told him I loved him. I wasn’t the bigger brother who protected him from those who picked on him during elementary school. I wasn’t the brother who gave an ear to him when he went through times of struggle. My pride had really blinded me from this pain. Thank God Johnny came out the way he did. If you were to talk to him, you would be astonished at the knowledge of his God and others. How quickly he forgives those who have trespassed against him. The hurt that had happened to him then, he now sees as a way to further advance the Kingdom with his Testimony, PRAISE GOD!

Yet I can not bring myself to forgive myself. My struggle, my lament is that I had allowed this to happen to him, I was the greater sinner. I know God sees all sin as equal, a lawbreaker is a lawbreaker (ref. James). However, I knew the Word, it was in my heart, in my mouth, I knew of the warnings and this other person did not. My brother has forgiven me and the other, God has forgiven me and I pray that this other will seek His forgiveness. But I still can’t forgive myself. It is this pain that is tearing me up. What if something as traumatic like this hits close to home again? And I continue to blindly go on without seeing it? I pray that this won’t happen. I pray that someday I can forgive myself, I’m sure I can be used by God in a much easier way.

I pray that I am not being blind to other hurts in front of me now. One thing I appreciate is honesty and a person that can be real, so if I notice a hurt I can be there. My warning and I guess word of advice is to not go seeking out for the hurt of others before solving the hurt of your family. Your family is yours forever, whether we respect and love them or not. If we don’t help our home and family, what kind of followers of Christ are we? Or simply what kind of people are we? Certainly not ones that are qualified to help others. Please don’t be like me, and have years of regret for not loving my brother the way I should have. I told him that will no longer be the case. I am going to love my brother and be content with the fact that he will do greater things than I in God’s name. Please, seek for the healing and love of your family.



1. anthonyform817 - August 3, 2008

Jesse, that was a post that hit close to my heart (by the way, its Anthony from church). I know how much I pick on my little sister, and its nothing truly hurtful, but I realize now that I really don’t show her enough love and that being her older brother, she needs that love and support from me. Thanks, Jesse, for opening my eyes to that.

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