The Covenant of Christian Brotherhood

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I was just wrapping up the plans for my Sunday School class when I wrote down the last sentence to the story of David and Jonathan. The words I was writing stood out on the page in bold letters:  

Jonathan protected David


As I sat there staring at those words, the question came to me: Do I protect those God has placed in my life – those with whom I am in Christian covenant?

I didn’t have to ponder it long. Sadly, I knew the answer to that question. And heavy conviction washed over me in a tidal wave of sorrow.

When we received Christ and were baptized, we became part of the body of Christ worldwide, and entered into a covenant relationship with all who are part of that body.

Rather than protecting those we are in covenant with – as Jonathan protected David – we sometimes take on the role of Saul and seek to destroy them.

At one time I got very much caught up in this. I criticized ministries, pastors, and musicians. I spoke out against pastors of large churches who had a philosophy of ministry different than my own.  I condemned worship leaders who led differently than I would lead, and against Christians who held different standards than I.  I even attacked fellow missionaries – fellow workers in the ministry who have the same vision and calling that I do.

The more I criticized the more I found to criticize.

Accusing the brethren day and night.  

Shooting poisonous arrows filled with my own spiritual pride.

Annihilating their reputation.

I often did not know the whole story, only what I read in a Christian magazine (which is often tainted by the writer’s opinion) or watched on YouTube.  How accurate is that?  I often quoted someone’s quote without bothering to do my own homework to find out if the quote was in context or not – or what the speaker was actually trying to say.  Thus I formed an opinion and freely shared it with all who would listen.

I failed to keep my part of the covenant of Christian brotherhood.

It is easier to break this covenant than to keep it.  It is not easy to stop a slanderer or a gossip and tell them you cannot listen to their poisonous words.  It takes great courage to do so.  It is easier to entertain negative and critical thoughts than it is to reign them in and bring them under control.

And yet, this is part of Christian covenant.

Being our brother’s keeper

Refusing to allow him to be destroyed.
Protecting him at all cost.
And when God was done speaking to my heart, I felt deeply convicted. I must do better at keeping covenant, at controlling my thoughts and tongue, at giving my brother-in-Christ the benefit of the doubt, at allowing him room to be different, minister differently, lead differently, and have different standards.
Because when we are in a covenant of Christian brotherhood and we protect and defend each other, we are truly being the body of Christ!
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  1. Good word, Roz! How I wish we’d all follow this principle! Think how many fewer church splits there would be and how many fewer people ravaged by unkind and thoughtless words. We’ve been on the receiving end of NOT being supported by the very people who should have been defending and protecting us, and not one person came to us to find out the truth. We ended up leaving our ministries and the church, and to this day, it seems no one involved has a clue what really happened or their part in it.

  2. Great thoughts! Protecting our brother at all costs, amen.

    Thank you for linking up with Woman to Woman’s Word Filled Wednesday! God bless!

  3. This is such a challenging message, Rosilind. I too have had a critical spirit at times and have been guilty of being more destructive that protective and encouraging. Thanks for your openness and conviction.

    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.


    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  4. Thank you so much for sharing them with Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Link Party.

    Have a great week.

    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

  5. Oh yes. I so agree. There would be a lot less splintering in the body of Christ if we would take care to guard our heart and tongue. I am so sorry you’ve been on the receiving end of this failure. It is so painful to experience!

  6. I think we’re all guilty of that at one time or another. He is always so faithful to remind us how to live in fellowship and true relationship. Thank you for hosting each week.

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