What does the Bible mean by “trust no brother”?
This phrase you are asking about, “trust no brother,” occurs in Jeremiah 9:4. This is the only place in scripture it occurs. But in order to understand the phrase we need to know who is speaking and what is happening in the passage. We say that we need to understand the context. Here is the passage and god is speaking.
“And they bend their tongue like their bow; lies and not truth prevail in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,” declares the LORD. Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor, and do not trust any brother ; because every brother deals craftily, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. And everyone deceives his neighbor, and does not speak the truth, they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity . . .” declares the LORD. (NASB) Jeremiah 9:1-6
What Is The Context?
The prophet Jeremiah had just stopped expressing his pain over the sin of his people. In this passage, God says that He is upset with the nation of Israel too! Most of the Jewish people had rejected Him. They did not know God. They did not believe God and they did not care for Him. God explains that unbelivers that not only do unbelivers reject Him but their life is full of lies, deciet, slander, and dishonesty. God’s view is accurate. This is an accurate of many non-Christians today. It is even true of some Christians.
Everyone has encountered men and women who are dishonest and who will boldly lie even while claiming to not be lying. We call them “silver tongued” if they really good at lying. We have learned to not trust certain business men and women. We have learned that when money is involved dishonesty is common. Some people will steal from our homes and remove things from our land. Co-workers will try to take credit for what we have accomplished at work. Even in the church we have learned that some people will not pray for us and expressions of kindness are sometimes are not always sincere.
What Is The Meaning?
When God said, ” do not trust any brother” He was telling the truth. It sounds negative but yet it is truth. How did the prophet Jeremiah respond? He was grieved because his people had rejected God and were “committing iniquity.” That is, they were sinning and they did not care about what God thought.
Should we trust other Christians? Yes, we should believe trust our fellow Christians until it becomes obvious that we cannot trust them. It is called love. When we cannot trust them then it is time to follow church discipline in a heart-felt desire to restore them to a godly walk with Jesus Christ. How should we respond to non-Christians? We should be careful.