At times, we can fight over the silliest of things. Often the root cause of the argument isn’t the thing itself, it is the underlying current of the thing. The thing is often unspoken and is hard to name for that elephant in the room needs to stay hidden. Quite often, the thing is closely related to ego, or perception of the impact on our ego.
Joseph’s brothers are upset about the thing. What is it? Favoritism, jealousy, anger? Perhaps what it is a wound of the soul that dad chose another rather than me. Or, how could someone so low on the totem pole dare to challenge the order of things?! Read Genesis 37:12-35.
The good news, if there is any, is that they don’t slay their brother. Instead, they sell him as a slave. If that isn’t bad enough, they send their father into deep mourning due to the perceived death of his beloved son. That’s the thing about our actions—we often don’t realize the impact they have on others. Did the brothers expect their father to be so bereaved? Were they hoping that their father would suddenly have an awakening to the eleven others before him?
When we act out of a place of jealousy, anger or revenge, we simply elongate the cycles of pain. Seldom do we see how that will manifest but, in the moment of our action, we not only feel justified, we feel good. What did these brothers talk about on the way home to their father? Did they rejoice and high five? Did they talk of what to do with the resources gained? Did they wonder what might happen to this brother, now living as a slave? I wonder…how have our actions toward others – made in the blindness of revenge, jealousy or self-righteous anger – turned out?