Bible Question:

I am having some serious relationship problems with my older sister. She is a Christian (as I am) but she cannot handle it when I share with her my pain and suffering. My husband and I cannot have children and have lost babies to miscarriage; but when I pour out my heart, she tells me to get on with my life and leave it all behind and not to dwell on it because it is negative. The same for when my husband was seriously ill, her answer was “What do you want me to do about it?” in an angry tone and now (three years later since mum had breast cancer) she has told my mother not to talk about it and not to bring up the subject of the prothesis, or don't talk about the scar it has left behind or how difficult it is not having a breast now or the pain that is felt under her arm. My mum said to her “When are you going to reconcile with your sister (that's me) because it is sad and the Lord would like you to reconcile.” She replied, “Don't bring God into this!!” . . . I know we must expect suffering, but God's grace is sufficient for us. How can I make her realize that this attitude is wrong? I am tired and weak and feel so unwell at times - yet her attitude overwhelms me at times. Please help me...

Bible Answer:

We can rejoice that your mother and sister appear to be believers in Jesus Christ and desire to follow Him. The followers of Jesus Christ are sometimes criticized because they are unkind, unforgiving, and commit other types of sin. The Apostle Paul wrote 1 and 2 Corinthians to the believers in the church at Corinth, and in each of the letters he rebuked them for their sins. They were: arguing with each other, taking one another to court, one man was committing incest with his mother, others were gorging themselves at the Lord’s Supper, being disorderly during the church services, questioning the authority of an apostle, and wanting the better spiritual gifts. These followers of Jesus were acting shamefully. So at the end of 2 Corinthians the apostle wrote these words,

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? (NASB) 2 Cor. 13:5

We can thank the Lord Jesus that most followers of Jesus do not act as they did. Now regarding your sister, let me encourage you to first confess your feelings and anger to God (1 John 1:9). That is the first step in dealing with your feelings. By confessing your sins, you allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life to change you. This leads to the second step, which is to ask God to take control of you with His Spirit.

So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit . . . (NASB) Eph. 5:17-18

This is called being filled with the Spirit or walking in the Spirit. Third, approach your sister and ask her if you have offended in any way. If so, then you might need to ask her to forgive you (Matt. 5:23-24).

Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (NASB) Matt. 5:23-24

God will be honored by you doing these things. If your sister says that there is nothing wrong, then you will know that there is nothing personal between you, and can thank God that the issue is only your feelings.


We would also encourage you to ask God to convict her of her behavior and change her heart attitude. The issue is in the heart (Matt. 15:18-20). Only God can change a heart. We cannot change the heart of another person. May the Lord bless you and grant you peace and love with your sister.