The Bible tells us to love our neighbors. Most of the time we think of neighbors as people on our street, or our “neighbor” in our classroom. But did you know that your neighbors also live in your house with you?

There are a lot of families in the Bible — and LOTS of brothers and sisters. And guess what? Many of them fought with each other! Do you ever fight with your brothers, sisters or cousins? Maybe because you feel jealous of them? Or sometimes they trick you or are mean to you?

Two brothers we learn about in the Old Testament are Jacob and Esau. They were twins who fought a LOT! Esau was born before Jacob. Being the first son born into a family was a big deal in those days! Because Esau was the firstborn, their father made special promises to him. That made Jacob jealous.

So he started playing tricks in hopes of getting what their father promised to Esau. Jacob’s tricks made Esau SO mad! Jacob was afraid Esau would hurt him, so he ran away. But then — after years of not seeing each other — Jacob and Esau met again. Jacob thought Esau still wanted to hurt him. But guess what? Esau forgave him! The brothers hugged and made up.

God was able to show these two brothers that they were different from each other, but they were both special. And when they learned that, they could love each other better. (But they probably still fought a little!)

What happens when you butt heads with your family? Loving your brothers or sisters can be hard. But they’re the first neighbors God gave you! Being in a family means forgiving each other again and again, just like Jesus told us to do.

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Matthew 18:21-35

Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive our brothers and sisters when they mess up. Find out in your Bible how Jesus replied!

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Today, will you forgive your brother or sister (or friend) for something they’ve done? And will you ask them to forgive you too? It will make you both feel so much better!

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Have you had a fight or disagreement with your brother, sister or a friend this week? Talk to God about it, and ask him to help you get along. You could pray for patience and forgiveness.