But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness…. II Peter 1:5-7
What is brotherly kindness?
I Thessalonians 5:14
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly,
A sister is living in sin. Her addiction has overtaken her life. Individuals visit her begging her to change even to the point of forcing her into the vehicle that brings her to rehab. This is brotherly kindness.
comfort the fainthearted,
A wife loses a husband. Disciples flood her and her family with cards, visits, meals, and hugs. This is brotherly kindness.
uphold the weak,
A sister is marred with chronic illness. Depression is so deep she won’t leave her home. She receives cards of encouragement. Brethren continually visit, never giving up on her. This is brotherly kindness.
be patient with all.
A young sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock. The brethren spiritually nurture her and help raise the child as their own family. This is brotherly kindness.
And be kind to one another,
A family has a baby. Meals are provided for them for a few weeks by brethren to lessen the load. This is brotherly kindness.
A brother is down on his luck. He’s lost his job and needs to support his family. Brethren offer relief and give opportunities for paid work. This is brotherly kindness.
forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
A man lays with a brother’s wife. The man repents asking for forgiveness and the distraught brother forgives him. This is brotherly kindness.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
A community is destroyed by hurricane waters. Thousands upon hundreds of thousands of goods and dollars is sent from the Lord’s churches to brethren for relief to feed, clothe, and rebuild their homes. This is brotherly kindness.
With every act of kindness that we witness between brothers and sisters in the Lord’s church we are experiencing brotherly kindness. Warnings, comfort, patience, forgiveness, relief, and anything else that builds up God’s community of believers is the expression of care and concern that’s required to make the Lord’s church successful. We are a family working together for a common hope that must look out for each other. While kindness needs to be exhibited to everyone, may we especially do good to the very people in whom we will share an eternal home as Paul says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).”
Want to add brotherly kindness? Commit to actively look out for the well-being of your brethren in whatever aspect is needed in the church. This is brotherly kindness.
Wonderful and Good Father, I thank you for the people that You surround me with that are the expression of brotherly kindness. How blessed is it to be a part of the Lord’s church and to witness brethren who will go the distance in looking out for the well-being of God’s people. I am so grateful to have this family in whom I share a special bond and will strive to do good in whatever aspect is needed to exhibit brotherly kindness as to bring all of us to Your eternal throne in heaven. We will be successful by the way You have provided through Jesus. In Him I pray, amen.
Truth in love,
See also A New Year Focus