“Am I my brother’s guardian?”, Cain responded when God asked him where Abel was. God did not answer that question, but if He did, He would have surely said, “Yes, you are his guardian.”
When God called Cain to ask where his brother was, it was certainly not because God could not find him anymore! He knew exactly what had happened, but he wanted to take this opportunity to teach Cain a very important lesson. A lesson for those who would read this story later as well. The word “guardian” in this verse is translated from the Hebrew word “shamar” which means “to protect, to take care, to watch over”. That’s exactly what God wants us to do! It is not only the responsibility of the Church authorities but of each member.
Even Jesus reiterated it when he came to Earth. “So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:27-29 NKJV). To this question, Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan. In this case, one man took care of another without even knowing him. He made sure he was not in danger, and that he was on the road to recovery, even though he did not know him.
How much more should we care for our brothers and sisters in the church? Paul even says that we should consider others to be superior to ourselves. “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Phil 2:3 NKJV). If we see a member of our church moving away from the truth, we must go to them and try to save them. It does not say that if we see a brother sin, we must go tell the authorities and let them take care of it. Some believers don’t want to hurt others so much that they accept all sin! Yet sin leads to death, and it is our responsibility to protect our brother or sister.
Or other believers use the argument of the speck and the plank (Luke 6:41) to withdraw from their responsibility. “Yes, he should change that in his life, but who am I to judge him and tell him to change. I have things to change too!” A nice excuse that does not hold water: “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother” (Matthew 18:15 NKJV). Of course, we must remain humble in the process, and not become accusers. You can share your own battles if that makes you feel you are at the same level. Then find out what your brother or sister needs to change to stay on track. “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20 NKJV).
This is especially true for singles! The enemy uses isolation a lot to guide the children of God into sin and devastation. Let us be supportive, together with brothers and sisters, being responsible for each other, and especially singles! If a predator hunts your sister, tell her! Do not wait for her to have her heart broken or worse! If an immoral woman comes to tease your brother, help him keep his standards and stay strong in his faith. Yes, it’s your responsibility! This is not only what God asked the first inhabitants of Earth to do, but Jesus also commanded it!
You may be in a season of your celibacy where you are satisfied as you are, you have no desire to meet a partner. But if you see your unmarried sister feeling lonely and tempted by the world, go with her to Christian singles activities, or other kinds of Christian activities. It is one of the best sacrifices to give your life (or at least a few hours of your day) to strengthen a brother or sister’s faith, protect them and take care of them.
It is time to stop saying “I just want to mind my own business”. It is time to stop hiding behind false promises such as “I’m going to pray for you” and instead get up and help that brother or sister as the Holy Spirit inspires us (James 2:15-17). Once married, you will have to take care of your spouse in this way. You will, officially and before God, become the “guardian of your partner” (that is to care and protect). So, practice right now with your brothers and sisters.