IF YOUR BROTHER HAS SOMETHING AGAINST YOU...
I don’t need to be a Christ’s follower to understand why it is important for me to make peace with my brother!
The ‘brother’ is the Biblical brother: my fellow-human!
Living a life, holding on to our past hurts and grudges, is akin to going about our lives carrying a heavy millstone around our hearts… It is bound to crush us down with misery!
We don’t need to be Christians to understand that, feel that… The heavy burden of our animosity is just unbearable… We only go around pretending as if it is nothing.
Lie! It is really something huge… Yes, a huge burden to carry!
In Life, the most sincere prayer has to be this: “God, please help me make peace with my brother, my fellow-human.” We need the strength of our wisdom and humility to offer this prayer before God… No, it is not so easy… Our vanity comes on our way… And, even if it doesn’t… even if we have melted and offered the olive-branch to our brother, he may not be ready, may not be willing… He may still carry around his heart the heavy stone of ill-will… Yes, it may frustrate us. And, yet, it is worth all the effort and patience it calls for…
Prayer with an unforgiving and arrogant heart is a dead waste! Jesus Christ had reminded:
"If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and, there, remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.…”
I took many, many years to understand the importance of this reminder. Read again: Christ says, “If your brother has something against you” and not “If you have something against your brother.”
If I have something against my brother, that is for me to undo. But, if my brother has something against me?
Well, that is the challenge…
It is still for me to undo!
Some months ago, Prashant*, an academically brilliant and very articulate young-man, had come to see me along with his retired parents. The young-man had been, for some years, to one of the European countries for his higher studies. His married elder- brother had taken initiative to mentor and support Prashant. However, Prashant’s pride and arrogance had, gradually, caused a massive rift between the two, and, they had spent the last few years bearing hurts and grudges in their hearts. Prashant had bluntly told his elder brother that he did not need his patronage and went about trying to prove it. But, the truth was that it was a heavy burden to carry and it had affected the placement interviews where Prashant was consistently rejected. Though, finally, he was selected by a firm, Prashant was now going through a period of low self-confidence. He was a depressed man and it was weighing him down badly.
So, Prashant had come to India to take a short break, get back his confidence and then go back to join his first job. He had come to see me, along with his parents, during this time. After listening to him and his parents separately, I had strongly recommended to him that he should take the first step and try to make peace with his brother. As it was difficult for them to talk, I had suggested that he should write… I had, also, reminded Prashant, that, he should keep his intentions clear and clean… That, he should not put any clauses and conditions for peace… and, even if his brother wouldn’t accept his olive branch, he should not give up…
Today, I saw, in my FB message box, this note from Prashant, which, I am sharing, here, in good faith and clean intention, honoring and respecting its confidentiality. I believe it contains the universal truth… and the healing potential.
I am sure this message finds you in best of health. I am doing fine here; my visa got cleared and I have started working. On 15th of this month, my first salary got credited!
My parents have come over and they are presently with my brother. They are planning to come down to my place this Tuesday and will be here till next Saturday.
Sir, I am sure you remember our personal conversation regarding the issues which are currently going on. I remember your advice regarding why I should patch up with my brother by writing to him. I did so taking the opportunity and inviting him to my place along with my parents.
To this he replied:
Good for you Prashant!
Thanks for asking us to come to visit you. However, since you made it abundantly clear to me that you don't want to talk or otherwise engage with me, I don't see any point in coming to your place.
I also don't like the arrogance with which you treated me when I tried to reason with you during your job search, or indeed how you have treated any of my suggestions regarding your education/career throughout. I think you take our parents and their financial support for granted - and that angers me as well. Never once have you acknowledged this arrogance nor shown any remorse for it…Do you remember the evening I tried to call you for more than 3 hours and you never acknowledged the call even once? Do you remember your pompous email the day after, stating you "could not take the call because you were with your friends"... Do you recall the excessive ingratitude and arrogance you displayed during our last phone call?...
So, you will understand when I say I don't particularly feel like seeing or talking to you!
I wish you all the best for your future career.
I am thinking of writing a convincing reply, but I am at loss for words. Could you please advise me?
So, what should be my advice to Prashant?
Prashant should be clear in his goal and clean with his intention. He should keep up the effort… Write more often to his brother offering his unconditional and honest apologies, make his elder brother feel that he (Prashant) has realized his mistakes… and, promise that such behavior would be dropped…
What else is there to it: to make peace with one’s ‘brother’?
Remember Prashant, you don’t need to be a Christ’s follower to practice what He taught… and, yes, please remember this: He had said, “If your brother has something against you… !”
Probably, you may not have to go back to God’s
altar, at all, with all your offering… because,
this – the peace with your brother –
may have pleased God, already!
Dear, that’s my advice…
Love and best wishes,
Pic.: Amrita Jeurkar
* Names have been changed