By: Alain R. Joseph (September 2010)

The Bible says in Galatians 6:2-3 (in Context: Galatians 6:1-10) (NLT) – Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Although the “Am I my brother’s keeper” quote is commonly used on t-shirts, by fraternities and on paintings it actually comes straight from the Bible.  It’s interesting because it came after GOD asked Cain “where’s your brother” (see Genesis 4:8-10).  Let’s face it, it’s not like GOD didn’t know that Cain killed Abel; it seems to be more of a statement.  In some way, shape, and form we are called to know where our brothers/sisters are: mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.  And “know” in this circumstance refers to understanding where they are and how we can help/build.  In the case of Cain he wasn’t a help but a hindrance.

Let’s test this theory: that we are required to take care of or look after our brother.  Looking at the mechanics of the world, and its political systems, we can tell that we are intended to look after one another.  It is clearly seen with our relationships: parent to child, husband to wife and then finally back to parent to child.  Even the government acts as caretakers of us.   So to think that we do not have a responsibility to our fellow man/woman is ludicrous.  There is nowhere and nothing that we can achieve by ourselves.  In our current economic climate, how many of us can find a job without: a headhunter, a friend, or even someone wanting to hire us?   We need each other to help each other.  Proverbs even tells us to take care of our enemies (Proverbs 25:21-22).  There is a careful balance of life that has to be observed and maintained.  By caring for one another we continue the cycle.  Some people call it karma; but it is just another means of describing what GOD is doing.

There are so many people who need help; people young and old who can benefit from your experiences.  We go through trials and tribulations to sharpen ourselves and to help others through the similar circumstances to emerge victorious. We all want a chance, and a hand up not a handout.  Helping someone is our way of paying it forward and keeps the balance of life in balance.  If a man asks us for money because he says he is hungry and we don’t trust him to buy food, with the money, we can buy him a meal instead.  Let’s use our minds to deduce the right options based on what people have asked us, to help them with.  Some may even contest the meaning of the word brother because in Genesis Cain refers to his brother Abel.  But we need to look at the literal, figurative or symbolic meaning.  For instance Jesus had brothers and sisters but he stated: “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50).  We can therefore see that we are responsible for many.

We can take a simple biblical example: CHRIST stated that on judgment day he will point to those who visited the people in prison, fed the hungry and clothed the naked “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Matthew 25:31-41).  Of all the things that we have to answer GOD for when judgment day comes, let’s not add helping those in need.