“When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Genesis 33:5a (NRSV)
In his little book of prayers, theologian and pastor William Barclay writes a prayer about “right relationships” –he prays that God will help us to have the right attitude toward all the people we daily encounter.
Keep us from the pride which makes us conceitedly pleased with ourselves;
The false modesty which is an excuse for evading responsibility;
The blindness which cannot see our own faults;
The selfishness which puts self in the center of everything.
Help us, dear Lord, to have the right attitude to others in our lives.
Keep us from the critical spirit which looks for faults;
The thoughtless spirit which never thinks of the feelings of others;
The cowardice which is afraid of what others will think or say;
The desire to curry favor which makes us too intent on pleasing others, even at the expense of honor, of honesty and of truth.
Help us to have the right attitude to you. Keep us from the forgetfulness which never thinks of you; the rebelliousness which takes its own way of things; the irreverence which forgets that you are here. Help us to think of ourselves, to think of others, and to think of you as we ought.
What was Jacob’s answer to Esau (Gen. 33:5)? What had Jacob learned about family in his time away? How had his attitude changed?
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.” Proverbs 8:17-19
Devotional by Trevecca Okholm, Minister to Children and Families, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church