Most times, we refer to ourselves as brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues, close pals, what have you. But do we really harbor the genuine love for each other and respect the limits of privacy and boundaries?
Brothers are meant to be able to share pains, joys, the lows and highs together. They are meant to sharpen each other to be better. But in that process, where does the line get blurred that we mistake a No to a Yes, misjudge a boundary, and take undue advantage of each other.
I am of the opinion that, before you call yourselves Brothers, you have passed through thick and thin together. You have each other’s back and you have the Power of Attorney to hold forth in the absence of your brother.
But more often than not, we tend to overlord it on ourselves, and to act as the judge and jury when certain instances happen and we think, its our call to cut to size. Brothers are meant to complement one another, know the limitations of each other and help each other through the weak points of life and embolden the strong points of life.
There is no Brotherhood when you segregate and posture yourself as been superior over your fellow brethren. Ok, let’s rephrase it. Of what use is Brotherhood, when I can’t trust you enough to share my deepest thoughts with you? When I can’t confide in you? When am guarded in my conversations with you? Is that Brotherhood?
Is Brotherhood about back-stabbing, gossip, isolation, unwarranted confrontation, getting in each other’s face, unsolicited advice, pretentious smiles, sucking up, hypocrisy , casting aspersions, divide and conquer, divide and rule, make insinuations and what have you? What really is Brotherhood?
“What does it mean to be a brotherhood?
It allows me to be a brother with someone I disagree with politically, religiously, or in any other way. Because instead of being based on personalities and friendship, brotherhood is based on shared commitments. … A brother is a good brother if he follows the commitments and helps others follow them as well.” Google Dec 12, 2012.
What are our commitments as a brotherhood? What binds us together outside our mutual areas of interest? Do we care enough? Take it away from religion, work and what have you. One of my deepest commitment to the few friends I have, is to ensure that, at their hour of need, I am there for them to support and cheer them on towards their goal. But there are other areas of commitment.
We all profess allegiance to God via our different “religious” platforms, but are we really bound in commitment to our profession of faith? It seems those in “religious” circles are guiltier of brotherhood failure than those who meet in “Social” Circles. In social circles, you can be held by your word, and held accountable for it. But in “religious” circles, do we really trust each other? Can I count on you to have my back? Arguable? Maybe, Maybe Not.
The good book states, in Psalms 133:1,” How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!” Let’s ask the question, do we get along? Why the strife in nations? Strife in Cities? Strife in Towns? Strife in Council and wards? Strife in Families? Strife in homes?
You know, 1 John 4:20-21 (AMP) states something interesting,” If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates (works against) his [Christian] brother he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should also [unselfishly] love his brother and seek the best for him.” (emphasis mine). Working against could mean dissention, bitterness, envy, anger, desire to control, power-hungry, the list can go on! But God’s commandment is explicit, “seek the best for him (your brother/sister!)”.
I like the words of Paul in the Book of Romans 12:10,”Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor” (AMP). I like the MSG interpretation of it, “Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle”. You don’t need to insist on your way. Steven Covey, in Habit 5 of his book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, states that,” SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD”.
Brotherhood makes no sense, if we process each other through our own frame of reference and fail to take into cognizance, the other person’s frame of reference. Paul states it this way in the Book of Galatians 6:1 (AMP),” Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well”.
Above all else, our minds should be knit as one in allegiance to Him that called us to service.