Brotherly love is the concern you have for others. Love is experienced in different ways. In fact, there are different kinds of love. When something affects your brother, it must affect you. That is a demonstration of brotherly love! Brotherly love is defined as that love a person has for a brother. It is the strong affection for another that rises out of kinship and personal relationships.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with BROTHERLY LOVE; IN HONOUR PREFERRING one another;
Romans 12:10, KJV
The Mouse, the Chicken, the Pig and the Cow
In this story, the chicken, the pig and the cow did not have brotherly love for their fellow farm animals and paid a high price for it.
One day, the farm mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. He rushed to the chicken and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, what is the meaning of this frenzied outburst? You are talking too much and disturbing our children. We have a job to do on this farm. Honestly, I cannot be bothered by a mousetrap. A mousetrap is no reason for you to disturb the neighbourhood. The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing anyone can do about it. If you were to eat more and grow bigger you would not be worried about mousetraps. Anyway, be assured that you are in my prayers.”
The mouse then turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said, “Mr. Mouse, pull yourself together! I can give you some advice. Just be careful when you are walking around and everything will be alright. A mousetrap is not a dangerous thing!”
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone. None of the other animals had understood his dilemma. None of them really cared.
That very night they heard a strange sound throughout the house. It was like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake lunged out and bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital where she was treated for snakebite. After three days in the hospital, the farmer's wife returned home but with a persisting fever. Everyone knew that the treatment for fever was fresh chicken soup.
The farmer took a decision to give his wife the fresh chicken soup that she needed. He caught the chicken, killed it and made fresh soup for his wife. The chicken who did not have brotherly love for the mouse had become the first victim.
The farmer's wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer decided to serve the guests with pork chops, pork stew, spare ribs and some bacon and sausages. The pig was quickly summoned, slaughtered and converted into these delicacies. In spite of the special treatment and care that the farmer's wife received, she did not get any better and eventually died.
So many people came for her funeral. The farmer was not expecting so many guests and had to suddenly cater for hundreds of funeral mourners. His relatives asked him to serve the guests with beef stew, steak, khebab and some meatballs. They said to him, “You will be able to buy another cow after the funeral.”
Under pressure from his family, he took the decision to slaughter his cow and serve his funeral guests. The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. Indeed, the chicken, the pig and the cow never thought that the arrival of the mousetrap to the farm would one day affect them all.
Dear leader, when something does not affect you directly, do not think that it passes you by like the idle wind that you respect not. It may boomerang to affect you deeply. When you have brotherly love, you quickly recognize that your brother's problem is actually your problem. It takes wisdom and maturity to realize how another person's problem will eventually come to you.
Culled from 'The Art of Leadership'
By Dag Heward-Mills