Who is my Brother?
Who is your brother? Most commentaries suggest this term translated brother means fellow Christian. So many commentaries suggest it, they’re probably correct. But as a possible alternative, let me suggest an idea from my past.
When I graduated from college, I thought I knew everything. And the last place I wanted to go was into the trucking business. My dad worked in that business, and I worked around his truck line growing up, but I didn’t like the people there. I didn’t like the work or the dirt. I just didn’t like it. So when I graduated from college, that’s the last place I wanted to go.
However, after a couple of straight-commission jobs, I decided to pursue a salary and the trucking business was the best option. I applied for jobs selling in the freight business. I thought for sure I could get a job because I had been trained to sell on commission, and I understood the freight business. But I had over 40 interviews without a single job offer. I think a contributing factor was the fact that, deep down in side, I thought of the trucking business job as beneath me. I didn’t want to do it.
Eventually, I ended up there, and went down further. I ended up working for my dad’s company. Every day, I wasted another day of my life and I got madder and madder. Dad even asked me why I was so angry all the time. Finally, God used the frustration of that job to bring me to him, but my ministry in the freight business still had issues. I believe it was because I hated those people and that business. It was a few years later when I learned to appreciate and even serve or love people in that industry. That’s when my joy and my impact began to change.
Do we do ourselves a disservice by thinking about this passage as only an instruction to fellow Christians? When I became a Christian, I loved fellow Christians, but I still hated the freight business and the people in it. God wanted me to love my brothers – those who are fellow humans. Until I became one of them, I couldn’t be much of a marketplace minister to them.
Today, who do you need to love more? What might God be holding back from you simply because you consider someone to be outside the scope of this command?
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