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Genesis 4 tells the story of Cain and Abel. We know that in the end Cain commits a senseless act and kills his brother. Before that, however, we see God ask Cain about Abel saying ‘Where is your brother Abel?’(Genesis 4:9) Now, God already knew what Cain had done to Abel. However in questioning Cain about his whereabouts implied that He had ascribed to Cain a level of brotherly responsibility. God wanted Cain to be able to account for his brother and that speaks volumes to the relationship God wants us to have with our brother and sisters on earth today. There is no question to how important brotherly love is to God:
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.John 4:20
In a world of social media, it is easy to be deluded into thinking that people do not need a brother or sister to show them care and affection. That people have it altogether and are completely fine. This is not always the case. The global pandemic has left a left a lot of people feeling cut off and isolated – more than ever people are in need of brotherly love.
These are three ways to be your brother’s keeper;
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love
Sometimes we think honour is exclusive to certain people. We are quick to honour our favourite celebrities and people we look up to but how often do we honour the people around us. This could mean buying a gift, sharing a compliment, paying a visit etc. The Bible instructs us to outdo each other in showing honour (Romans 10:12) meaning we should be proactively seeking to honour the people within the body of Christ, no matter the type of relationship we have with them. The word devotion also instructs an intentionality and persistence in caring, loving and honouring one another.
Let your love be genuine
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mindPeter 3:8
Brotherly love is central to being your brother’s keeper but if that love is not coming from the right place it will bear no fruit. The Bible instructs us to let our love be genuine. (Romans 12:9) Peter describes the type of attitude Christians should have for one another and perfectly directs us in what is needed to genuinely love. A humble mind to serve your friend, sympathy for conflict resolutions, unity of mind for understanding and a tender heart to maintain the friendship and love in all seasons.
A desire to serve
The purpose of service is so that God can reach others through our hands. Jesus is the ultimate example as we see Jesus lay down His whole life in service to us.
Through love serve one another.Galatians 5:13
Constantly looking out for how we can serve one another and be of help is key. The silent cries for help must be acknowledged even when they are not directly aimed at us. In order to acknowledge this requires being less focused on self and actively focusing on others.
God is looking for those who will take up the burden of caring for others. A relevant quote states; ‘people are either giving love or crying out for it.’ Therefore it is important that we attempt to avail ourselves for others, being our brother’s keeper just as our Saviour has made himself readily available for us and kept us through and in His everlasting love. (John 3:16)