Hurt People Hurt People

This is the account of Jacob’s family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated himand could not speak a kind word to him. Genesis 37:1-4

The story of Joseph begins in Genesis 37, and it isn't pretty. His father had children by multiple women, and the kids competed for love and affection. Jacob chose Joseph as his favorite; that didn't go over very well with his brothers (and his sister doesn't even get a mention - she was just sort of forgotten). Joseph was also a brat, tattling on his brothers and making things worse.

Already in these first four verses we see a timeless truth: hurt people hurt people. When you struggle with being accepted by your parents (as Jacob himself did), you struggle to accept your own children. Jacob had been hurt by his father; in turn, he hurt his sons. Then the sons hurt each other.

Family dysfunction gets passed down from generation to generation. What has been passed down to you? (It's hard to heal what you don't know is broken). Take some time and ponder these things, asking Jesus for grace.