For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love (2 Peter 1:5-7).
What does it mean to you to be a brother or sister to someone? I hope it’s not in a childish way where you argue and fight. That needs to stay in your adolescent years and not in your adult life. Possibly it doesn’t even belong in adolescent years. It is loving one another to the point that you respect and build each other up. You have each other’s back. It is caring for one another. Do you notice the “one anothers”? The New Testament talks a lot about how you should be to one another. It means that we need to have contact with one another to know how the other is doing and to build one another up. You can’t do “one another” buy yourself. You need to be part of a group of more than one.
Brotherly kindness is what we all should participate in. In Christ we are all part of the brotherhood of believers, we are brethren, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are family, part of the same body, we are the church. We act kind towards one another because we have this relation of kinship. Why would you want to hurt someone who is a part of you? We live off of each other’s love, respect, goals, encouragement, and all that is good and wholesome. We are in-kind and we don’t hurt our own kind because we wouldn’t want to be hurt.
Another word for kindness is grace – “show grace towards one another” – you might say. Grace is what God had for us through Christ’s life, death, burial, resurrection. Paul put it this way to the Colossians: “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Col 3:12-14). Love? We’ll touch on that next week J
In brotherly kindness, Doug
La Grande Church of Christ