We are almost to the end of our 2 Peter series! The last topic in case you missed it was godliness, and you can read it here. Today’s topic is brotherly kindness.
What it Is
Strong’s concordance defines this as love of brethren. In the Greek, there were several different words for different types of love. This type is love between friends. I Peter 1:22 discusses it: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” This love should be strong and true.
Love like this works. Romans 16:1-2 says, “I commend to you Phoebe our sister,who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.” Whatever our brothers and sisters need, we should help them as long as it is in keeping with God’s will.
What it Does
Brotherly kindness directs how we treat our fellow Christians. Romans 12:10 says, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” With this attitude toward each other, we will be considerate of our Church family and take care of each other.
This is further described in Ephesians 4:32 which says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Showing brotherly kindness to each other means that we are gentle with one another. This thought appears in Colossians 3:12-13 as well: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
We don’t hold grudges. Family members don’t write each other off when one makes a mistake; they forgive and move on. Doing so takes love. If Christ can forgive people as unjustly as He was treated, then surely we can forgive each other.
How We Get It
Like all the traits in our passage in question, we can grow in this love. I Thessalonians 4:9 teaches, “But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.” We learn how to care for each other by the example of God, who demonstrates perfect love.
What is life without love? It would be empty and meaningless. We should form relationships with those around us. God told us that we aren’t meant to be alone. He designed the Church so that we have a family, and we should love each other with a selfless, working, compassionate love.
May the Lord bless and keep you,