- Brotherly kindness is most often referred to in the Bible as brotherly love. Brotherly love cannot be exemplified in isolation. The hallmark of the Body of Christ is not the number of members, or the size of the edifice for worship, or the finely tuned administration of the organization. It is the strong attachment between members of Christ’s flock.
- The Bible is a great source of examples of brotherly kindness. One is given in the account of Elisha and the Shunammite woman found in our text. Describe what this woman did to show brotherly kindness to the prophet.
- Though the Shunammite couple were not looking to be repaid for their kindness, what blessing did they receive from God? Is our kindness toward our brothers and sisters in Christ ever compensated? If so, how?
- Listed below are several other examples of people in the Bible who exemplified brotherly kindness. Tell in your own words the circumstances under which their love was shown.
- Aaron and Hur: Exodus 17:12
- Jonathan: 1 Samuel 18:3-4
- David: 2 Samuel 9:6-7
- Paul: Philemon 12,15-16
- Compare your feeling and consideration for a brother in Christ to the consideration shown to your own body.
- Read the following Scriptures and write what instruction you find in each which shows how we can exemplify brotherly kindness.
- Romans 15:1
- Galatians 6:2
- Ephesians 4:32
- Hebrews 10:24
- 1 Peter 4:8
- When is it the responsibility of the individual to show brotherly kindness? When is it the responsibility of the church?
- In some cases, when a need presents itself, it may seem that another is more qualified or better able to assist or take care of the situation. Explain how this could be used as an excuse by one not wishing to get involved.
- Present an everyday situation in which brotherly kindness can be shown to the following.
- A newcomer to the church
- The elderly of the church
- Someone who is sick
- Widows and widowers
- Your pastor
- A new convert
- What are some of the positive results we might expect to see when brotherly kindness is practiced?
The Apostle Peter, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has given us a formula. We read: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” It is promised that “if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8). With a promise such as this, we would do well to dig deep into the full meanings of these qualities. We, as Christians, must add them to our spiritual character so we can fulfill Christ’s charge to us to bring forth fruit.
It is possible that Peter presented these attributes in an intended progression. Taking these attributes as a basis for our quarter, we have included several others which are important to the development of Christian character.
As you study each of these lessons, be aware of how these attributes overlap and build on each other.