I think most of us underestimate our own selfishness. It’s so much easier to see it in other people, and I know I’m not always paying attention when people (family included) send me hints about my own.
Teenagers especially struggle with this. They are naturally pushing away from their parents. They are trying on masks to figure out who they are. They are trying to be their own person and not just get sucked into their parents’ identity. They crave independence. Their youthful energy makes their parents seem like old fools and their younger siblings like embarrassing baggage.
All of us are born with an attitude of “What’s in it for me?” and “What are you going to do for me?” Cain’s angry shout to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is still our native language. God has a better way: “Serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13,14).
Our Servant-Savior, Jesus, provides both the healing forgiveness we all need as well as a role model to help those who feel themselves drifting away from their families. Realize that you are not quite as smart and slick as you think you are, nor are the other members of your family quite as dumb as you think they are. Your family is God’s gift; it is your team. Love your team.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”