Today was a rough day, I was tempted to sin against God in a way that is extremely disrespectful to the institution of Friendship or the Institution of the Church. So I turned to my Christian brothers for help. I asked my Christian brothers if they can encourage me and tell me to not sin. All of my close friends know I struggle with homosexuality and know this runs very deep into my humanity. They also know I love friendship!
My friend Dave told me, “Don't be a dumbass, and I love you and I'm proud of you.” (Don't we all need a friend who tells us not to be a dumbass? I know I do!)
Another friend told me to use my energy and exercise! That is very practical advice, especially if I need to watch my weight, but seriously, exercising can help men deal with their sex drive issues.
My friend John told me, “Imagine me on a horse naked.” My response was laughter and a “gross!” but then he said, “Bro, remember Jesus is your LORD (master, worthy of obedience) and he is Father (who loves you and wants you to stay away from that)
My friend Levi told me to not give in. What I will give into is just a shadow of the companionship I am looking for. Pursuing the real thing is worth it. Don't settle!
My Friend Matt told me to call him, I did!
And my friend Stevy told me something that made me rethink the story of Cain and Abel.
“…....In Genesis God asks Cain where his brother was and he said, “am I my brothers keeper?” The answer is yes, we are our brother's keeper and I have felt like you have cared about me as a brother does!.....” That is what Stevy told me.
I love all my friends a lot. I know when I text them or call them for help, they will listen and try to comfort me and give me guidance. That is an amazing blessing. My friend's responses were encouraging, funny, and serious. But Stevy's response stood out to me.
I wonder, how many of us have Christian brother's who are our keepers? Or how many of us act like we are keepers of our Christian brothers?
As we read the Genesis story of Cain and Abel, we see God questions Cain and asked him,
“Where is Abel your brother?”
As if God expected him to know.
If God where to ask us that question today, what would we say?
Throughout the Old Testament there are stories of God holding prophets accountable for the truth they know and if they do not share the truth they are accountable for their death.
Ezekiel 3:18 - "So when I say to a wicked person, 'You're about to die,' if you don't warn or instruct that wicked person that his behavior is wicked so he can live, that wicked person will die in his sin, but I'll hold you responsible for his death.”
God told his prophet Ezekiel he needed to deliver a message to Israel and if he didn't deliver it, they will die because of their sins, and God would hold him accountable for it.
In the New Testament Scriptures, the Apostle Paul teaches Christians that in this New Covenant that we are all apart of, we need to hold each other accountable, pray for each other, meet each other's needs, rebuke each other, help restore someone from their sins,etc.
Basically what he is saying is
“Be your brother's keeper!
Most of my friends know I struggle with homosexuality. They know I have some deep shit I am dealing with in my life. They know I have been hurt from previous friends, I have walked the path of unhealthy habits, at times I am full of anger and bitterness, and they know I am a Christian trying to fight the battle of not giving into my gay desires for sex with the same sex. They also know I want a more healthy valuable environment for friendship within the Church.
These friends keep up with me. They are devoted to me. They try their best to help me and care for me.
I am one blessed Christian with brothers that are my KEEPERS.
I encourage you to ask yourself,
Who am I suppose to be a KEEPER of?
What Christian brothers need my help, love, guidance, rebuke, comfort, Touch, Time, Transparency, and Teamwork?
Let us avoid the ways of Cain the unrighteous person who killed his brother and forgot his role that he was a keeper of his Brother.
Let us be prepared to answer God when He says,
“How is your brother doing?”
“Have you been meeting his deep needs?”
Have you been giving your love, touch, time, transparency, teamwork?”
And we will respond with,
“Father, I am loving my brother and keeping track of him, the way Jesus loves the Church.
Look! He is over there sitting on my couch, laying on my bed, eating my food, taking my time, in my arms as I hug him, he is being taken care of Father. Just the way Jesus does it."