The Art of Leadership By Dag Heward-Mills
Brotherly love is the strong affection for another person that rises out of kinship and personal relationships. Brotherly love is that show of concern for others. When something affects your brother, does it affect you?
What A Leader Should Know About Brotherly Love
- Brotherly love makes you put others before yourself. This is humility. And honour comes before humility.
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with BROTHERLY LOVE; IN HONOUR PREFERRING one another” (Romans 12:10).
- Brotherly love is needed to prevent strife between close relations.
“And Abram said unto Lot, LET THERE BE NO STRIFE, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; FOR WE BE BRETHREN” (Genesis 13:8).
- Brotherly love causes you to sacrifice yourself for others. Brotherly love causes you to lay down your life for the brethren. People who are sacrificial and lay down themselves for others are often productive.
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to LAY DOWN OUR LIVES FOR THE BRETHREN”
(1 John 3:16).
The Mouse, The Chicken, The Pig And The Cow
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. It 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 sympathised, but said, “I am so 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 a sound was heard throughout the house — 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 soup for his wife.
But his 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, 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 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. 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.
When you have brotherly love you are quick to empathise with another person. You recognise that your brother’s problem is actually your problem. It takes wisdom and maturity to realise how another person’s problem will eventually come to you. May you have brotherly love for others!