Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My Brother's Keeper

You ever watch the show "What Would You Do?"  For a while, I was hooked on watching every episode.  I found it so interesting to see how people react to different and possibly awkward situations.  It sort of surveys the degree of morals a person may or may not have, and reveals those who will speak out in uncomfortable circumstances. I guess for some, it's not too difficult to speak out against something they feel strongly about.  But I don't think it's ever an easy task to speak up or speak out for something you believe in, specially when you know that what you do or say will affect the reputation of others.  

Are you familiar with the term, "Snitches get stitches"?  Yeah, I've heard it from time to time.  Sounds a bit childish, but it basically means that people who "tell" on others, deserve retaliation.  I think for the most part, people will remain quiet about things that are not directly affecting them.  We are prone to be selfish beings, and so if it's not a bother to me, then why should I bother, right?  Then there's the "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" famous saying; a proverb that in our Western world basically refers to lack of moral responsibility.  All in all, we are persuaded to convey a message that says "mind your own business".  

And what is my business?  Is it just what affects me directly?  Or does it also include those things that are affecting others?  Well, the other night as we were on the turnpike driving home, we noticed that the vehicle in front of us was swerving from side to side.  The person would swerve into the shoulder lane and then back into the dividing lines between the lanes.  He would go from driving right in the middle of the two lane highway to almost hitting the trees along the shoulder.  This went on for quite some time, and we were afraid to pass him, thinking he might hit our car.  Well, I did something I had never done before.  I called 911 and reported the vehicle.  It felt awkward at first, but then it just became the thing to do because he was not only putting himself in danger, but the rest of us drivers as well.  I'm not sure that the state police ever stopped him, and we did get home safely.   However, the whole thing got me thinking of our responsibility as part of the body of Christ.

So "what would you do" if you see your Christian brother or sister doing something that you know is wrong?  Like if she walks out of a store with something that you know she didn't pay for... Or if she is excessively striking her child in public...  Those things might be obvious and in your face, but what about when she makes the decision to leave her spouse?  Or what about when he is getting drunk on the weekends?  What do you do when they've confessed to you their deepest secret and worst sin?  What do we do when our brothers and sisters are living lives that do not reflect the light of Christ?  

 The Bible talks about holding each other accountable. As part of the Christian family, we are reminded that, "if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the spirit should restore that person gently"-Galatians 6:1.  I sure hope that we find ourselves prepared and know exactly how to respond in these types of situations in a manner that would bring glory to God. I think about how that driver who swerved from left to right on that highway last week, was in fact in danger and possibly putting us in danger.  In the same light, I find that when a brother or sister is living irresponsibly, he/she is not only in danger but also possibly putting others in danger as well.  But even more importantly, I feel that the fact that they may be severing the relationship they hold with God is the most dreadful predicament.  It hurts to see my sister blinded by temptations or sin.  And it hurts to see my brother seemingly clueless and unaware of the entrapment Satan poses.  

So once again, what will I do?  Well, I know one thing for sure and that is that God is not blind to any of our circumstances.  God is aware.  Therefore, He knows, just as I might know, when a brother/sister is failing spiritually.  And many times, He will allow me to see it, in attempts that I will act justly and intervene for this brother/sister.  As if to say, "What will you do"  now that you see your brother failing?  You see, if I just sit back and watch my brother fall, then in essence, I've fallen too.  Because what hurts one member will eventually hurt us all.  And if I do not act righteously, then I'm failing too.  Therefore, we must look for ways in which we hold each other accountable.

James 5:1-6
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Luke 17:3
"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

Hebrews 10:24
and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

Genesis 4:8-21

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[a] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.

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