Christ is Your Environment (Part Eight) The Companions of Knowledge (3)

Though this culture is a product of the Spirit of God in the believer, he is not under duress to take or add it to his character, because God does not coerce people. The work of the Holy Spirit in the believer is to bring him to the reality of this culture in his life. Making it known to him that he has been made to be that way, at that point it is left for the believer to yield to the instruction or advice of the Holy Ghost. And when he does, he will find himself encapsulated in this character and it begins to manifest in his life voluntarily. 

And for sure you can’t be godly without being kind and not just being kind but brotherly kindness if not, it amounts to hypocrisy. Therefore, believers are admonished by Apostle Peter to add to their godliness, brotherly kindness. The term brotherly kindness can be substituted or translated as brotherly affection, Christian love and something like loving and enjoying other believers. In other words it means that friendliness that expresses a warm heart of love that is established on a factual sincerity. This brotherly affection is void of any negative intent, whether in preclusion or exclusion before the expression is carried out. It is a wholehearted activity sourced out of the knowledge who/what one has become in Christ and as a result unleashed to the recipient. And, if it is void of negative intents, it means is altruistic in nature and does not in any way expect something in return. This shows that brotherly kindness is not originating from the human mind but it is of divine that is why it doesn’t require or expect anything in return.

In discussing this subject I like to use this expression that brotherly kindness is, loving and enjoying other believers which actually typifies what it stands. Loving and enjoying other believers, means establishing a relationship that is void of greed, envy and strife. Which means that when other believers are prospering in their endeavors, you are the one to start appreciating God because of them; not wanting that such should have happened to you first. It also means that when other believers are in a situation, you should be the one with or without their consent seeking the face of God in prayers and fasting selflessly and not the other way round of mocking and being happy about what they are going through. 

Therefore, brotherly kindness is very essential in the life of the believer because it polishes the life of godliness in a believer. Godliness is an act of piety, which every believer notices in the life of a believer as an act of worship to God, but if carried out without brotherly kindness it becomes a mere show or egocentric activity. Take for instance, if brother in the church is going through tough times and hardly have the basic three square meals a day, the tendency is there that other brethren should help and up his life. Though, this help is not an obligation but on the other hand is a necessity laid on the believers to take care of, as a result there is no room for them to abdicate from it because the person in question is among them. In expressing brotherly kindness, giving is required, what defines the act of giving here is the motive behind the act, if you give selflessly it becomes an act of brotherly kindness and if it is otherwise it becomes and otiose gesture that doesn’t have any spiritual content. 

Brotherly kindness involves the believer’s demonstration of compassion and affection towards other people and mostly towards the brethren who are of the same house hold of faith. In the house hold of faith, no believer is required to carry his burden alone, because among the brethren the attitude or character of brotherly kindness in embedded in them by the Holy Ghost who has sealed all as one in Christ. Therefore, what touches one also touches all. No believer looks away from the sufferings of the fellow believer even the sufferings of outside people, because he has been created in Christ to be that way, the tendency to help in order to alleviate situation is there, and he does that freely and willingly without making it a big deal. This is because he isn’t the one doing it but God through showing kindness and relief in the life of others and that he should acknowledge, and the earlier he does acknowledge that, the better it is for him, (Philippians 2:13). 

Interestingly, like I said earlier, the demonstration of brotherly kindness must be depended on what the motive behind the act is. The motive qualifies it to either be an act of brotherly kindness or an act or curling and garnering favour and using it to seek an opportunity to be positioned for certain social benefits. In this case, it is no longer brotherly kindness because brotherly kindness is done without expectation of anything in return from any human. The demonstration of the act of kindness with the motive of expecting something in exchange for the kindness is not Holy Ghost motivated kindness and therefore, it is called dead works because such do not have spiritual value. The doer of such kindness receives his reward from man here on earth and the rewards are nothing but perishable things that will be there today and tomorrow are gone but that which is Holy Ghost motivated is rewarded in the eternity and has eternal value. (Luke 14:13-14, 1Cor 3:13-15)