Exhibiting a kinship and disposition to render help because of a relationship.
Within each of us, whether or not we want to admit it, there lies a deep desire to have a true brother or sister in our lives. Brotherliness is based on a relationship which offers assistance, no matter the cost or consequences. It is tied to the concept of “we are family.”
Jesus Christ modeled this trait, making a profound impression on both his friends and foes. His enemies sneered that He was a friend of tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners, but Jesus was not deterred. He was friendly and brotherly even to the lowest of society. Jesus not only spoke to these people but he ate with them, went into their homes and sat down to the table with them; the very climax of audacity! In spite of what some believed, they too, were members of the human race, children of the great family of God. Therefore, in spite of all that they had done, and recognizing all that they were, Jesus treated them as brothers.
Brotherliness was also manifested in Jesus’ teachings. He had compassion for people. He saw their confusion, their perplexity and their misery. He saw sheep without a shepherd, and His heart cried out for them. In spite of all the ugliness, vindictiveness and maligning he experienced—He went on helping them all He could.
Although many of us have numerous friends and acquaintances, the brotherliness Christ demonstrated is rare in today’s world. John 15:13 defines true friendship by telling us, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” In our fast paced world, we often become consumed with schedule, agenda, job, life and reputation-- missing chances to live out brotherliness.
Dr. Howard Hendricks stated, “Those who are serious about living a pure and effective life before the Lord will find more strength when accompanied by true brothers.” Each one of us needs brothers or sisters that will help us in our pursuit of godly behavior. They don’t miss opportunities to help you because they are aware of your needs.
We violate one of God’s basic principles when we try to exist without brotherly relationships. True brothers not only stand with us and sharpen us, but they are also willing to confront us. David Augsburger commented, “Life without confrontation is directionless, aimless, passive. When unchallenged human beings tend to drift, to wander, to stagnate. Confrontation is a gift. Confrontation is a necessary stimulation to jog one out of mediocrity or to prod one back from extremes.”
I’m at my best when I’m operating with a team of people around me, people who are committed to sharpening me. Ted Engstrom once remarked, “About the only thing we can do successfully by ourselves is fail.” My track record shows that my failure rate is significantly higher when I face life alone. Therefore, I actively pursue brotherly relationships, and it’s my desire to be a brother to those who need me as well. These intentional friendships are men who are my soul mates. People I would die for and those who would be willing to die for me as well.