My Brother’s Keeper

Genesis 4:9 reads: “And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, ‘I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain asked the same question that many people ask today: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In other words, “What does that have to do with me”? Society has taught us to mind our own business or to look out for “numero uno,” but has done very little in teaching us about accountability.

There are countless scriptures that come to mind about accountability; one in particular is Acts 14:19-20. This passage of scripture speaks volumes on the subject. Paul was stoned in Antioch and dragged out of the city to die. Thank God for the disciples who were there to encourage, strengthen and motivate Paul to continue pursuing the call of God on his life. Picture for a minute what could have happened to Paul if the disciples had the attitude that says, “What does that have to do with me?” It’s our responsibility as Christians to be our brothers’ keepers.

The word keeper means “protector or guardian; to observe, to give heed to; to keep watch over and to restrain.” All throughout the Bible, there are several examples of being our brother’s keeper. Take for instance Romans 15:1 that speaks of the strong bearing the infirmities of the weak; also James 5:16 which instructs us to confess our faults one to another and pray one for another that we might be healed. Philippians 2:4 reads, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” We can find scripture after scripture that will support the importance of being our brother’s keeper.

In order for us to get to the place where we can genuinely do this with the people God has placed in our lives, we’re all going to have to get better at relationships. We have to stop being afraid and running from relationships. We have to be willing to make some investments into the relationships we have and the people we consider our friends. Sometimes that investment means inconveniencing ourselves. That’s the reason why we can’t afford to have 35 to 45 people we call our close friends. It is unrealistic to think we can cultivate that many relationships. God has brought supernatural, divine connections into our lives, and we must be willing to allow Him to take us deeper into them, so we can get and give the benefits that He intended. That doesn’t mean that everybody you meet is going to become your closest friend in the world. That’s really not possible, but there are some supernatural relationships that God will bring to you.

In Genesis chapter two, God said that it is not good for man to be alone. When He created man, he built him with something on the inside that needs another human’s touch. So, to need people doesn’t make us weak; God wired us in a way that we long for human interaction, touch, appreciation and affirmation.

Living our life in Christ means we need Jesus Christ and also the body of Christ. That means we need to let God heal us, grow us up and teach us how to engage the right way in relationships. Ecclesiastes 4:9 starts off simply by saying two are better than one. Two are better because if one falls, the other is there to lift up his fellow brother. Verse 10-12 reads: “…but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him…” The Bible makes it very clear that we are always better off if we're with somebody else. We are going to be better when we're connected with other people because we will always have a support system.

The enemy fights so hard to get us unplugged and disconnected from others. He will pull out all of his devices to keep us from developing our relationships and being our brother’s keeper. He knows what we can do if we get on one accord. He wants us to become offended, so our emotions get stirred up and we stop coming to church and interacting with other believers; and before we know it, we’ve pulled away from everyone. Let’s stop allowing him to do this.

If we choose to live life all by ourselves, not connected with a local church family, life ends up being much harder than it was supposed to be. It’s time for us to start being there for one another. I have your back and you have mine. I look out for you and you look out for me. And if anyone asks the question, we can answer with conviction, “Yes, I Am My Brother’s Keeper”.

This article is written by Bishop George L. Davis

Senior Pastor of Faith Christian Center in Jacksonville, Florida