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January 12 – Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

January 12, 2012

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” – Matthew 7:1

Amazing, isn’t it?  As soon as you point out (even to a friend) an error in their conduct, this verse is thrown right back at you.  Even those who are anything but followers of Christ seem to know this verse well.  It is their primary defense when they feel threatened by moral discernment.

However, Jesus did say it, didn’t He?  What did He mean?  Did he mean for me to never reveal the Truth, but to take on an “each to his own” mentality?  Am I to sit idly by knowing that a brother or sister in Christ is making mistakes (perhaps, even sinning) and not say a word?  Really?

Let me illustrate:  Two friends were traveling together and came upon a herd of cattle in the road.  They successfully made it past them and rounded a sharp curve in the road.  They noticed a car coming in the distance.  One friend said to the other, “What do you think would be the Christian thing to do?”  The friend replied, “Build a hospital.”

Do I see the wreck coming in a person’s life, but refuse to tell them the truth?  Instead of warning them before the wreck, I often seem to be willing to take a chance; and if necessary, I’ll try to help or repair it later.  In doing so, sometimes the damage is done and seemingly beyond repair, all because I was afraid of being accused of “judging.”  This is simply a distortion of the Word of God.  I am my Brother’s keeper.

Within the church, accountability to others actually encourages me to be concerned about others.  Paul said in Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”  My concern for others is based on their well-being.  I should be catering to others; and that means I should be willing to encourage, be honest, and even gently correct them, if necessary.  Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”  I am not called to correct them with a prideful heart, but in humility; because I really do care for them.  Deep down inside, I must realize I am also a sinner, and am subject to failing in my own walk, as well.

Often, I am not in the frame of mind to want correction.  I do not want others to correct me.  At best, it may be embarrassing; but mostly my pride gets in the way.  Am I above sinning?  Certainly not.  Can I not fall?  Of course, I can.  In humility, I should be ready to accept the Lord’s discipline through the care of others.  The Lord chastens the ones He loves and sometimes that is done through His disciples, my peers.  Am I concerned enough about my own spiritual walk that I will hear the Word of God no matter who God sends to tell me?  It behooves me, if I am approached, to not immediately assume they are condemning me; I must assume:  they are trying to help me and have no ill-intent in mind.  I pray others would want the same from me in return.  Agree or disagree, I should be grateful and appreciate their concern for my spiritual well-being.  Grace goes a long way to work in my life; I should also extend it to others.

Therefore, I ask myself, am I genuinely concerned about others that I will do the right thing in the eyes of God?  If I see an error in a brother’s or sister’s life, how will I approach them?  Will I go to them with appropriate humility, or will I selfishly find some warped sense of satisfaction perceiving myself better than they?  I pray I will respond out of a deep concern for his/her well-being.

And, if somebody wants to correct me, will I receive it and thank them?  I pray I can.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lowell R. Price permalink
    March 19, 2012 6:45 am

    Good “Words” of wisdom here, Thanks. Papa

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