"Am I my brother's keeper?" This was the response I heard a number of years ago when encouraging a friend to reconcile with a person he was in conflict with.
As human beings, we’d far sooner go our own way than try to pursue right relationship in the wake of a conflict or disagreement. But the reality of being a Christ-follower means I care about the well-being of others as much as (or maybe even more than) I do for myself.
Earlier in Philippians Paul says, “make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Phil. 2:2)
Unity, so we can focus on the mission.
So am I my brothers'/sisters' keeper? YES! And my brother/sister is mine. In the body of Christ, we are with and for one another, we look out for each other, we call each other out on our sin, we help each other see our blind spots, we encourage and spur one another on in our faith. This is what it looks like to be the church.
It’s far too easy a way out to leave fellowship or connection with someone when you don’t agree with them - it’s harder to see yourself intimately connected to fellow imperfect humans, and seek unity to keep our eyes focused on the mission.
Fellow Christ-followers, let us be committed to right relationship above right opinion, so that we may remain intent on our purpose: Loving God, Loving Others, and Making Disciples.
Notes from a pastor is a new series of small pieces of encouragement from local pastors. If you're a pastor and would like to submit a piece, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org