But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” (Gen. 27:35)

WHEN I WAS A KID, my twin cousins had their share of disagreements. They didn’t even share a similar countenance. Envy, jealousy, and competition were forces often at work to pull these family members apart. Sibling rivalry can occur at any age and at any time. Oftentimes as siblings get older, their relationship gets worse. Rather than focus on the love that binds them, sisters and brothers obsess about their differences or point to the weaknesses of the other.

The classic story of Esau and Jacob reveals how one brother cheated the other to obtain the family blessing. Jacob’s desire for the birthright of his firstborn brother along with the blessing of his father before his death was more valued than a loving sibling relationship. He was willing to compromise his relationship with Esau to have the promises of a better life. In the end, Esau and Jacob were reunited and together buried their father.

Our family members are gifts from God and should never be taken for granted. He makes us unique for His own purpose. Like Esau and Jacob, my cousins didn’t share similar features, but their love was powerful enough to defeat their differences. It may take years to realize how fortunate we are to have a certain person in our family circle. Their contribution to family life may be the key to your best life.

Invest time in knowing and loving your family.

Billie Joy Langston writes Christian literature and serves as a Christian hospitality specialist. She is a member of Reid Temple AME Church, Glenn Dale, Maryland.