“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

// Romans 15:1-3

When a sibling relationship is healthy, it’s a wonder to behold. Siblings cover each other, they relentlessly defend each other against attack, and they call out the best in each other. They will sacrifice their own comforts or pleasures for the others’ good. They are there for each other in the highest highs, cheering loudest, and by each other’s side in the lowest lows—whispering encouragement, holding each other through tears and carrying each other until they find their feet again.

The beauty of the Kingdom of God is that when we are born again we are born into a family full of brothers and sisters in Christ, so whether we are blessed with natural siblings or not — and irrespective of the status of those relationships — we are able to experience the gift and privilege of being a sibling. We are blessed with older siblings – those further along the journey of faith than us – and enjoy the privilege of being an older sibling to those who have come into the family after us.

It’s this particular privilege that ties into Paul’s words here. Older siblings forge the way, they experience freedom first. As older brothers and sisters in Christ, our lives become an opportunity to help our younger siblings as we model godliness and no longer aim to just please ourselves. To live a life of brotherly love is to reconcile with this simple truth: it’s not about us. The gifts we’ve been given, they are not about us. The church community we’re part of, not about us. The decisions we make, not about us. The actions we take, not about us. The strength and maturity of our faith, not about us. Our strength is for service, not status.

Proverbs 24 states that, “by wisdom a house is built.” By wisdom our House, C3 Brooklyn, is built. We are all someone’s older brother or sister in Christ. And with that comes an invitation to acknowledge the influence we have been entrusted with, and in love, walk in wisdom. Wisdom in our words and wisdom in our actions, that’s the key to carrying influence; it’s not about right or wrong, black or white. It’s about wisdom. And the beautiful thing is that God has promised to give us wisdom for every situation; we need only ask [James 1:5]. We are each telling a story through the decisions that we make every day, whether we realize and acknowledge it or not. Our lives are the greatest message we will ever preach. Let’s commit to living lives that we would be pleased to see replicated in our younger brothers and sisters in Christ.

// Jolie Egan