Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

In today’s world, are we too sensitive to being “politically correct” at the expense of another’s eternal life? Or are we literally indifferent to their eternal life?

We see around us so much that dishonors God, so many misguided souls (lost?), and the heartbreak of those we personally know who have moved away from the faith. It is overwhelming, and society discourages us from asking someone about their spiritual health, lest we be perceived as judging another. The whole idea of “outreach” or “reaching our community with Christ” is intimidating. Do we care that someone may not be in heaven? We can start with just one. Look around you. Maybe it is a family member or a member of our church family. Pick one person close to you who seems to have lost his or her faith. Care about that one.

“The Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?'” (Genesis 4:9) That phrase has become a slogan to rationalize indifference to someone else’s physical or spiritual struggles. Cain thought the answer was an obvious one, “no”. God thinks the opposite. God answers “yes”. In fact, it’s one of His chief reasons for inventing families and congregations – so that nobody slips between the cracks, unnoticed, uncared for, unlamented.

That’s what compassion means – that we are willing to feel someone else’s pain, help carry someone else’s burden, care about someone else’s eternal destiny. Yes, it is our business to care about our
brother/sister in Christ and to act on their behalf. The Small Groups I am part of help me do this. Together we help to meet the needs of an individual or family through hands-on assistance or support them through prayer and encouragement. What helps you to be your brother’s keeper, to care for others, to maybe affect someone’s eternal destiny?

Polly Wegner, DCE
Director of Discipleship
pwegner@peacelutheran.net