2 Peter 1:5-8 5For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), 6And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), 7And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love. 8For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
By exercising godliness in our lives we will develop brotherly affection- literally showing the affection of a brother, the feelings a brother (or sister) would have toward his (or her) brother or sister. Now before you read this and think- “I didn’t get along with my brother or sister at all. I didn’t even like them”- as always we have to do things God’s way, not ours! Romans 12:10 tells us we are to 10Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another. We are to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ with honor, respect and as having a place of importance in our lives.
Something important to think about is this. In the natural we can’t choose our families. Whether we like them, love them, dislike or feel indifferent about those that are our relatives, they are still a part of our family. I think about young people I have heard about who “emancipated” themselves from their parents. Even though they may have legally separated from them, their dna, their makeup is something that cannot be changed. Whether they acknowledge their parents or not they are still a part of the family they were born into. It’s the same way in the family of God. We don’t get to choose who our spiritual brothers and sisters are. Whether we like or dislike them is irrelevant. If they are part of our family, we still have to show them the brotherly affection it talks about in this passage. We are to esteem and show consideration and thoughtfulness to those around us. Take the time today to consciously give respect to a brother or sister in Christ.