By   •   June 4, 2015   •   Topics: ,


Years ago, my brother and I had a conflict over our father's estate, and he vowed he'd never speak to me again, and he hasn't. I feel terrible about this and have tried repeatedly to reach out to him, but nothing changes. Should I just give up?


No, I hope you won’t give up reaching out to your brother. God never stops reaching out to us, even when we don’t want anything to do with Him, and neither should we stop reaching out to those who don’t want anything to do with us.

Will your brother ever change his attitude? He might, or, to be honest, he might not. But don’t let the years go by without trying; if you do, you’ll always wonder if one last birthday card or one final note might have opened the door. You can’t control his reaction, but you can control yours (with God’s help). I often think in this connection of the Bible’s command: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

Don’t become a nuisance, however, constantly asking to see your brother or repeatedly begging him to get in touch with you; this may only make him more stubborn. But do apologize if you need to (perhaps in a letter), and let him know you care for him and regret what happened. The Bible wisely says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

The most important thing you can do, however, is to pray for him. Pray not only that he’ll want to be reconciled to you, but that he’ll realize his need to be reconciled to God by giving his life to Christ. Only Christ can cleanse the poisons of greed and selfishness.

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