Am I responsible for and accountable to my brother? If so, who is my brother? How far does this responsibility extend? There are so many questions revolving around the subject of mutual accountability placing added burdens to people who have a full plate just managing their own affairs. It is a stretch to believe that my concern for others could have an effect upon their behavior. The collective selfishness or individualism we see today has created an environment where it is much easier to take advantage of, or even harm each other than it once was. If no thought is given to the potential for both good and evil that we all possess, each act committed is isolated from the context of the whole. One lie contributes to a community of dishonest people. One item stolen from another person contributes to a security breach that may cost more than you are willing to pay to protect what is left of your goods. One adulterous act contributes to debauchery that is out of control. Yes, the Golden Rule is to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” However, when people do what they ought not do, or refuse to do what they ought, it is our responsibility to correct the error of their ways.
A keeper is one who looks after the affairs of another. It is having concern with the well being of each other. Cain slew his brother, Abel and God asked him the question, “where is your brother?” This profound question resonates through history even to this present time. Where are our brothers and sisters? Not merely their geographical location, but where are they in relation to where you are? Cain, I imagine, slew his brother in order gain an advantage over him and more favor than he had received from God. Many are like crawfish in a barrel, pushing others down in order to get ahead. Their success can only be defined through the failure of another. People are vying to gain a competitive edge over others. They lose in the long run without even recognizing their loss. Competition breeds an environment of competitors rather than fellow laborers. Even in the Church, there are more than a few who build their success on the backs of the weaknesses and failures of their fellow brethren. Some just build what is colloquially called, better mousetraps that gain more interest but do not produce greater levels of change in the lives of the people. What about the Body of Christ as being one? Does it mean anything to us to seek to gain an understanding that we are members individually? If the Kingdom of God is our primary goal, then who is it that divides us into exclusive sects?
Politics as in religion has its sectarianists; those whose primary goal is to defend the platform of the Party. Whatever is said or done, right or wrong no longer matters. What matters most is the Party which has become the modern day idol among those who are blinded by ambition. It is usually the ambition of the Party leaders and the blindness of the Party followers who do not question where their affiliations may be leading them. Both sides of the system have caused much harm. There must be a prophetic voice that will speak truth to power without concern as to what it may cost. The Word of God transcends the arguments of men and elevates us to a higher level of thinking. The best thing I can do for my brother is to adapt the mindset that I say and do for my brother what is best for him, even if it costs me everything.