“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”—Strength to Love, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Do you have a friend who is willing to speak truth into your life? I’ve had a couple. I know what it means to be loved, accepted, and challenged because of these friends. I know if I called, they would come running. That’s brotherly love.
The idea of brotherly love comes from the Greek word phileo, which is commonly used to talk about love in the Bible. It speaks of deep affection and a willingness to do whatever is needed for your “brother.”
And phileo doesn’t have to be between guys! Obviously, you can have this type of relationship with sisters or anyone you consider to be family. Specifically, the bond between brothers is what the word is trying to get at. It’s the perfect example of this phileo type of love.
I believe Jesus has this in mind when He calls us to love others. Is it the entire picture? No. But it is part of it. Having this kind of love for strangers, enemies, and neighbors is challenging. It is also life-changing. It changes them, us, and the rest of the world.
· It is easy for us to think those closest to us know how we feel about them. What is one way you can go out of your way to express your love for your ‘brother or sister’?
· The term ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ doesn’t always mean blood relative. How would your relationship change if those we love are blood relatives? Why do you think that is?
· Is your relationship with God compromised by your feelings about a ‘brother’ or ‘sister’? What can you do to make it right?