March 5th, 2020
Brotherhood and Accountability…
I have not been around the MC community all that long, nearly a half decade I guess. However, I have been around the biker community for a long time, since I got my first street bike at the age of eighteen. I first learned to ride a motorcycle at around 12 years of age on dirt bikes in the woods, on friends farms or land. The first time I rode, I was hooked.
The feeling on riding a steel horse with the power at the twist of a throttle, the wind in my face, the open road is often hard to put to words. If I did, it could take many paragraphs to pages.
Riding motorcycles with friends started feeling like family shortly after my first street bike, whether we were taking a long roll into the country or down south, or just a roll to bike nights or the drag strip. We could talk about our bikes, and adventures for hours.
However, I didn’t always ride motorcycles throughout my adult life; life events, changes and priorities changed and there were times I needed to sell my bike and focus on other things like buying a house, taking care of children and more. It seems though every time I found myself single, I got a motorcycle. Yes, I am one of those guys that sold my bike when my wife got pregnant or to put a deposit on a home, and one of those guys that when I got divorced bought another bike.
There was a turning point in my life from my last divorce that rocked me to my core, that challenged my faith so intensely, that I nearly lost my faith with just about everything else I lost. It was a time I call, “A Perfect Storm”. I was affected on all angles of my life, not just financially, nor by the painful divorce, but physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It was some of the most dark times in my entire life, and if it were not for true non-fair weather Christian friends, and the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit trying to speak to me, I am not sure if I would have persevered.
There have been additional times of Perfect Storms such as my motorcycle accident to where I broke 15 bones, was in the hospital a month, a wheel chair 3 months, and off work with no source of income for about 4 and a half months. Or other times of hardship whether extreme financial, or personal that I also discovered who were my true non-fair weather Christian friends. Those that were there in a flash, by my side, had my six, and refused to let me fall. It are friends like this, I often call Brothers. It is times of adversity that they will be there the most.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” — Proverbs 17:17
Even before these adult “Perfect Storms”, I discovered that I was blessed with some amazing friends such as these that helped me not only through some tough times, adversity, and having my six in tough situations, they helped mold me into the man I am today.
Therefore it may be no wonder as to why I seek true Brotherhood and Accountability. In addition, since I love riding motorcycles, the open road, and the great outdoors, it is no wonder why I may be drawn to the Motorcycle Community and Motorcycle Clubs.
Within this community I have been asked a common question, a question I also commonly ask others, “So why pursue membership, or be a member of a Motorcycle Club?”
This questions was asked by my biologic brother during Thanksgiving dinner not so long ago, and I was both surprised and delighted when my nephew immediately responded, “the brotherhood” And he was correct. However, it may be more than just brotherhood, but that is one of the main reasons. It is both Brotherhood and Accountability. So what does Brotherhood and Accountability mean, and look like to you? What does it mean and look like to me? It may be different for some, if not many.
During my years on this earth, and now it has been plenty by some people’s definition, I have discovered that Brotherhood is not a word, nor bond, that should not be taken lightly. To me, Brotherhood is earned over time, experience, and seasons. In the MC community, the word is most certainly not taken lightly. Ever heard anyone say, “Don’t Bro me, unless you know me?” In the MC community, I have learned that this word is typically only utilized between friends that have invested that time, those experiences, and seasons together or Full Patches, which typically becomes one in the same. In addition, if you ever see a patch on a motorcycle vest that is like the one below, it was given to them by a true non fair weather friend, a genuine brother that has had, and will continue to have his six.
In the Christian arena of bikers, the word Accountability can also be just as important. And again, those pursing membership or are members, I have discovered the average reason they are either pursuing or a member in a Christian MC is because of Brotherhood and Accountability.
The unfortunate part in all of this in today’s age, I am not certain that some may truly know what Brotherhood and Accountability truly means. Granted I have a few decades of life on me, and I may be somewhat Old School who loves Old School Values, but simply ask a Biker what Brotherhood and Accountability is, and means to them. Then, if you may, observe them on how they exude, extend, give, receive and accept it.
Some may say they seek brotherhood, but later not willing to do the work of building into true brotherhood, staying the course, and put others above themselves. In addition, men may say they desire accountability, and as soon as they receive it, they disregard, discount, or reject accountability once they receive it, or take personal offense to it. Conversely one may say they love you, and call you brother, but not show it, demonstrate it, nor live it.
True non faith weather Christian friendship, or what I may call, true Brotherhood is priceless to me. However, it is not easy to develop and maintain. It is more about your brother than it is ever about you. The focus to me is, it is to give more, serve more, and love more than you receive.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” — John 15:13
“Let brotherly love continue.” — Hebrews 13:1
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” — Romans 12:10
Accountability is also not always easy to extend, nor receive. However, wise men seek wise counsel. Wise men also surround themselves with others that are just as wise, as well as wiser. I believe to become wise, you must be willing to be coachable, to at least seek first to understand, then be understood. Don’t be quick to over react, not everything even deserves a reaction. Be quick to listen, slow to anger, take some time to truly see what someone is seeking to tell you or advise to you, and in the Christian world, always compare it to scripture to see if it is good and sound. It is also a good habit to always verify and validate. The enemy loves to use what God hates like in Proverbs 6:16–19 to divide the church, an organization, the brotherhood, or any living soul by using those things.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” — Proverbs 12:15
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” “ — 1 Corinthians 15:33
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” — 2 Timothy 3:16
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:3–5
So why do I ride a motorcycle, I shared just a bit in the beginning, but that may take more paragraphs to expound upon. Why do I like the Biker Community and drawn to Motorcycle Clubs? Well other than my love of motorcycles, the open road, the great outdoors, encouraging others to chase after the “Beautiful Outlaw” in Christ, it is for the treasure of authentic, genuine, real, true Brotherhood and Accountability.
Blessings and Shalom,