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Pointers along the way #505

Our brother's keeper
- Jacob Ninan

God gave Paul great revelations, and it was Paul's task to teach others whatever they needed (Ac.20:26,27). According to the areas of responsibility God has entrusted to us, it is the same task given to all of us to pass on to others faithfully what God has given us. Preachers, writers and other leaders have one kind of responsibility, parents have a responsibility towards their children, and we all bear responsibility towards those we deal with. Our faithfulness to God is also seen in our faithfulness to these others. God entrusts knowledge, understanding, abilities, skills, etc., to us so that we might be able to 'feed' the others in our care according to what they need and what is available with us to provide (Lk.12:42).

Many of us only think about ourselves, what we want from God and the others. If we are not concerned about the needs of others and the thought doesn't even occur to our mind except when preachers tell us about it, the chances are that our so-called love for God is not genuine (1Jn.3:14).

Many others think of others only as much as it serves their own purposes. To help when it will bring us honour or so that we can hope for something in return is human. The divine nature is to give expecting nothing in return but only for the good of the others (Lk.6:35). When we love like that, we will not hold back anything God asks us to bless or save the others. Sometimes it could be to give a word of correction or to share a piece of truth that is appropriate for the situation. We are tempted to say only things that will please the others, make us popular with them, increase our reputation, etc., and to avoid saying anything that might 'offend' them. But if we do these, we will not be accomplishing the whole purpose of God or sharing the whole counsel of God (KJV) for the situation. Sometimes truth spoken in love (Ep.4:15) in contrast to accusations, blaming, fault finding, condemning, etc., can be what God wants us to bless others with.

We cannot have the strength and boldness to do this if we ourselves are not willing to judge ourselves in the sight of God as often as He speaks to us. It is not that we talk to the others because they are not perfect while we are, but because just as we want for ourselves to be saved from all the corruption that is in us we love others enough to want it for them too. It is in that humble attitude that we can take on the role of being our brother's keeper. It is only as we walk before God in truth and humility that we are enabled to fulfill this task (Ge.17:1).

On the other hand, if we shrink back from declaring the whole counsel of God -- whichever part of it God has given us and the others need -- but choose only those parts that are pleasing to people, we will also end up misrepresenting God to them. For example, if we only talk about the grace of God and avoid talking about obedience to God, we make a caricature of God, and we are going to be held responsible for that.


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