Your Brother

What makes someone a brother? In the Bible, a brother is another Christian and this term can apply generically to include both men and women. To say the least, all brothers have wrinkles, foibles, or less than stellar characteristics. So, the statement might be more about all the mistakes or missteps they have taken but this would paint them with a brush that also applies to anyone else in this world. It is not that we should stand in judgment of all others unless we are judged by the same standards. In fact, there is no human alive who has not made mistakes while recognizing that some mistakes may seem bigger or more outrageous than others, this is not a Biblical truth.

First of all, Romans 3: 23 states this: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", meaning that no one, not a single person, meets the standards set by God. So, no one is any better or more perfect than another. Secondly, no sin is any greater than another sin. To commit even one sin is no less important or notable than any other sin. When we use these statements, an analogous interpretation shines forth. That is to say that all brothers throughout history, throughout the world have erred in some fashion or another. With that said, we are not to turn away from others who have failed or faltered, we are to embrace them through love. This means that we do not speak to them in anger; we speak to them in kindness and not rudely or arrogantly; we offer support and encouragement but not bitterness or rebuke; we express compassion through our words and deeds but not shun or separate them from our midst; and, we help them to overcome whatever faces them and not cast them aside as something unworthy of our aid.

In the past, even though we may be much better than in the present, will still come times when we error for a variety of reasons. The difference between something we error in on purpose and something we do without knowing we have done it makes little difference. There are probably times for all of us when we have failed to correct a wrong or to acknowledge the needs of others and failed to respond.

We are all brothers and sisters, and we all make mistakes at one time or another. Daniel Colesworthy clearly states that we are to encourage, to show compassion and love to our brothers even when mistakes have been made. These verses are wise words for us all to remember.

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Your Brother
Poet: Daniel C. Colesworthy

Turn not from your brother
Who strangely has err'd,
Nor speak as in anger
A harsh, bitter word:
In kindness approach him —
With tenderness speak —
If vic'ous, be gentle —
Support him, if weak.

Kind words and compassion!
Sure weapons to save
The fallen and erring,
And snatch from the grave.
Ye all have the power.
Though humble and poor.
These weapons to use
And the lost to restore.

Go then to your brother
Just turning away
From wisdom and virtue,
And be his strong stay.
No moment is wasted.
No words are in vain.
When the lost and the erring
To virtue you gain.

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