What’s Up Bro?

by Elder Peter Lim

Here in America, people frequently greet each other as a brother or simply as “bro”. It’s a common greeting especially between friends who have known each other for a long time. Sometimes it’s even used to greet a stranger when one wants to convey a sense of friendliness. Of course there’s nothing wrong with being friendly but as a Christian, the title of “brother” is a precious one. It brings to mind the preciousness of what Jesus accomplished on the cross that made it possible for us to have a common Father in God. (1 Cor 8:11)

To call someone a brother who is not a Christian cheapens the precious relationship that Christians have with one another. For Christians, a servant can call his master a brother. A man who has been deeply hurt and offended can truly forgive enough to call him a brother. A murderer can become a brother of those he once sought to kill. A man would rather suffer loss of property or rights rather than take his brother to court (1 Cor. 6:6). In fact it’s impossible for anyone to say that they love God if they don’t love their brother (1 John 4:20). Hating a brother is as bad as murdering a brother (1 John 3:15).

This is why I never use the term “brother” when referring to people in general. I wouldn’t want to bestow that title to someone who may not consider Jesus to be precious. On the other hand, whenever I do use this term, you can be sure that it’s something that I have thought through. Brothers (and sisters!) are precious. Jesus died for them. They deserve my deepest affections and service and love, no matter how badly we’ve been hurt in the past. Life is too short to live with grudges and bitterness.

Brothers, hurting each other during this lifetime is an eventual certainty, especially the longer we work with one another because we are all prideful sinners. This is why we must be especially slow to anger, and quick to forgive. Do you have broken/strained/difficult relationships with your brothers? Humble yourself and seek out peace. For the glory of God it will be worth it.

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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