“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”
As we grow in faith and in our understanding of Scriptures, our lifestyles should automatically reflect this.
Today, we will be considering Christian conduct in the light of brotherly love.
Romans chapter 12 touches on certain areas of life (ministry, godliness, welfare and relationships) and the expected attitudes of a Christian. Verses 9-10 say, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” (NLT)
This is very similar to the instruction Jesus gave His disciples in John 15 verses 12 and 17, “Love one another”. In fact, all the commandments are summed up into our love for God which cascades to our love for others. (Luke 10:27)
The Lord sees our love for Him as exemplified by what we do to others (particularly fellow Christians). No wonder He told Paul that the persecution of the saints had actually been to Him. (Acts 9:4-5)
Quickly, we will examine three ways our conduct should reflect genuine love.
The first is in the area of offences. Matthew 5:23-24 explains how being at peace with one another is paramount to God. The offerings we give as proof of our love for God will have no value if we do not show brotherly love.
In Matthew 18:22, Jesus even went further to tell us how large our hearts must be when it comes to forgiving offences. Humans are bound to err so we should be ready to respond always with love.
In the same vein, we must correct in love. When we see a Christian indulging in wrongdoing, rather than publicly announcing what they have done wrong or being judgmental, we are to correct and counsel them privately. A mature Christian strengthens those who are weak, not pulls them down further.
Then, we must support other people’s success. Envy or jealousy should have no place in our midst. As we mourn with those who mourn, we must rejoice with those who rejoice. (Romans 12:15) The same God who did it for them is very capable of doing yours, and He will in perfect timing.
Friends, your public and private conduct should reflect your love for God. In all you do, let brotherly love continue.