There is a famous story in Genesis of two brothers, Cain and Abel. Cain, motivated by jealousy slays his brother. When God asks Cain where his brother is, Cain replies “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Though God doesn’t answer Cain directly, His judgment on Cain clearly implies that we are our brother’s keeper. This passage clearly shows that God commands us to take care of the members of our family.
In the New Testament, however, the meaning of family is changed. It is made very clear that you are to look on other Christians as your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Jesus is remembered to have 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 12:50 ESV)
Paul of Tarsus later echoes this sentiment in his letter to the Romans, “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:15 ESV)
If you are a Christian who has endured hardship, or is afflicted with a behavioral, mental or physical condition, you have a family of Christians who are commanded by God to treat you as family. The RENEWAL program at Brookhaven hospital is based on the idea that Christians have a responsibility to help other Christians in their time of need. This Christian mental health program is unique because there are not only Christians on staff ready to help you, but they will also empower you to offer support to other Christians who are struggling through group prayer and group therapy sessions. Through fellowship, there is no wall that cannot be climbed.
Taking part in helping other Christians can actually be an important part of the recovery process. When you act as your brother or sister’s keeper, you do God’s will on earth. A common theme throughout the Bible is that God requires community. In an age where individualism is emphasized heavily in our culture, it is easy to lose site of the fact that God actually commands us to look after each other; to work together; and bring about His will on earth.