Brotherly Kindness and Hypocrisy:
Brotherly kindness and hypocrisy has a thin line of border and if not carefully examined one can run into error. It is something that is synonymous with Christian living but if not demonstrated properly it becomes hypocrisy. However, it is important to state that brotherly kindness is a means to demonstrate godliness. Surely, godliness without being kind and not just being kind but brotherly kindness 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.
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In other words it means that friendliness that expresses that heart of love which is established on a factual sincerity. This brotherly affection is void of any negative intent, whether in preclusion or exclusion before the expression takes place. It is a wholeheartly activity source out of the knowledge of who/what one has become in Christ.. 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.
The Definition Of Brotherly Kindness:
In discussing this subject I like to use this expression that brotherly kindness is, loving and enjoying other believers. This actually typifies what brotherly kindness starts for. Notice that loving and enjoying other believers, means establishing a relationship that is void of greed, envy and strife. This means that when other believers are prospering in their endeavors, you are the one to start appreciating God because of them. Not the other way round to think such should have happened to you first.
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Again, it also means when other believers are in a situation, you should be the one with or without their consent praying and fasting selflessly for them. It shouldn’t be a time of mocking and being happy about what they are going through.
Therefore, brotherly kindness is very essential in the life of the believers because it polishes the godly character in them. 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. This egocentric attitude is a product of hypocrisy. Take for instance, if brother in the church is going through tough times and hardly have the basic three square meals a day, the right thing is for brethren to help to uplift his life.
It Is A Necessity:
Though, this help is not an obligation but on the other hand is a necessity the believers should not look away from. As a result there is no need to abdicate from it because the person in question is among them. Giving is one of the requirements in expressing brotherly kindness. 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.
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Brotherly kindness involves the believer’s demonstration of compassion and affection towards other people. This is mostly done 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. This is 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 outsiders.
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This is because the believer is creation is 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. The fact is that he isn’t the one doing it but God through him showing kindness and relief in the life of others. Every believer demonstrating brotherly kindness should acknowledge this very fact. The earlier they acknowledge this fact the better it is for them. See Philippians 2:13.
It Is Different From Hypocrisy:
Interestingly, as stated 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 in order to seek an opportunity to be positioned for certain social benefits. In this case, it is no longer brotherly kindness but hypocrisy. This is because brotherly kindness is done without expectation of anything in return from any human.
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The demonstration of the act of kindness with the motive of expecting something in exchange for the kindness is not Holy Ghost motivated kindness. Therefore, such act is regarded as dead works. This kind of kindness has no spiritual value. The doer of such kindness receives his reward from man here on earth. He 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. See Luke 14:13 -14, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15.
About The Author:
Pastor Chukwuemeka Asiegbu is the Pastor of Saved In The Lord Evangelical Ministry Inter’l. He has authored many books and he’s behind several online Christian articles. Don’t miss the next topic.
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