I’ve learned a lot from my brothers over the years. I’ve learned some useful things, and I’ve learned some useless things. Today, once again, I’ve learned something from my brothers. I’ve been doing a Bible study on 1 Peter for the last couple weeks. Today’s focus was on 1 Peter 3:8-12. God used my brothers to teach me an important lesson, without them even being here.
1 Peter 3:8 says, “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, loves as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” (NIV) These aren’t new commands. I’ve known for years that I should love others, be sympathetic, compassionate and humble. But, today, something clicked when I read, “love as brothers.” I love my brothers more than I could ever explain. Sharing the same parents produces a different bond than I have with any other people on earth. There have been plenty of times that they’ve annoyed, aggravated or just plain angered me, maybe more than anyone else I know. But, even in those moments, I want good things for them. I want them to be loved, blessed, happy, successful, and fortunate. I go out of my way to love them and serve them. Sure, there have been times in my life when they asked me to do something and I said, “No. Do it yourself.” It’s easier to say that to them than it is anyone else. There have also been times when they walked in the door at 11pm, and said “I’m hungry. Will you make me some French toast?” And, I figured out how to make it, even though I’d never made it before and even though it was 11pm and I’m not a night owl.
I’m grateful for my brothers for a lot of reasons. Today, I’m grateful for them, because I don’t think I would have quite grasped this lesson if not for them. When I read the words “love as brothers” it hit me. As a child of God, I have many brothers and many sisters. I’m called to love them. But, more than that, I’m called to love them as I love my brothers. I’m supposed to love them more than myself, I’m supposed to live in harmony with them, be patient, kind, sympathetic, compassionate, honest, do good to them, and to pursue peace with them. I’m supposed to go out of my way to love and serve them, just like I would for the siblings that share my earthly mother and father.