5 Minute Read

Brothers & Sisters

Written by Keith Chapman, Vice President of The Sofia Foundation

October 1st, 2020

I am always inspired when I hear stories of our military heroes that put themselves in grave danger to protect and rescue their fellow soldiers. Having spent a career in the fire service, I always felt a sense of responsibility toward my fellow firefighters.

This sense of responsibility started when I was a rookie and continued to grow as I progressed through the various levels of leadership. The traditions and history of the fire service certainly contributed to this feeling of responsibility.

I am sure people who have served in the military or public safety can relate to this feeling at some level. However, it seems our feelings of responsibility for one another have limitations outside of these professions. In fact, some cultures seem to be more self-centered rather than service minded.

One of my favorite things to do when in the Washington D.C. area is to visit Arlington National Cemetery. The rich history and duty to honor those who served our country is deeply moving. A great example of respect and duty is the United States Army Sentinels that guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Every detail of their operations is designed to give full respect and honor to the fallen soldiers who have not been identified. This assignment is given only to those who are committed to the highest standards of professionalism and service.

This assignment is one that involves a shared duty to put the duty to others above yourself. Can you imagine a culture that has this level of dedication for caring for and encouraging those around us?

Billy Graham once said, “When brothers and sisters in Christ unite in the common bond of the Word of God and prayer, they are strengthened in their faith and witness.”

This quote highlights the importance of the Word of God and prayer. The results of which are individuals that are strong in faith and use their testimony (or example to others) to serve and encourage. Romans 12:15 (NLT) says, “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other.” Galatians 6:2 (NLT) says, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ (referring to love). If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.”

I can appreciate the direct way this version of the verse is worded. No matter your position, status, or background, you are never above encouraging, helping, and serving others. Life can be very difficult to navigate.

Everyone goes through peaks and valleys. We have a duty to support each other and live in harmony. Most definitions of harmony that you will read will include words like pleasing, congruent, parallel, and/or in agreement. Does this describe the relationship you share with those around you?

Challenge: Don’t fall victim to a diminishing sense of duty to those around you. Use the Word of God and prayer as your bond and foundation for relationships. Be intentional with your actions to support and encourage; as you will no doubt appreciate the intentional actions of others when you are experiencing difficulty.