Do you love your brothers and sisters? Sure, they may bother you sometimes, but they likely are very close to you because they are family. Brothers and sisters have a special bond that is really meaningful. Spiritually speaking, all those who have obeyed the Gospel are brothers and sisters in Christ. Christians are children of God, and thus the church consists of our brothers and sisters—all of whom make up God’s family. Paul told the Galatians, “you are all one in Christ Jesus” (3:28). We are to show as much love (and more!) toward our Christian family as we show to our physical families.
Long ago, in Genesis chapter 4, Cain committed the first murder. After the evil deed was done, God asked Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain replied to God by asking Him, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain had a very bad attitude, and no respect for his family. Christians are part of God’s family. We are not supposed to have the attitude of Cain, but, rather, we are to be kind and loving to one another. The apostle John said, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14). Christians also are instructed to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
First-century Christians were taught to be humble and loving. The early church was expected to possess true love, which does not give up on its brethren. True love for our Christian brothers and sisters is selfless. “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
Paul encouraged the Ephesians: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). The early church had brotherly love. Brotherly love does not let little things tear people apart. Instead, those with brotherly love do the little things that build people up. Always do your best to encourage your friends to do the best that they can.