Song Reflection: “Brother” (feat. Gavin DeGraw) by NEEDTOBREATHE

By Bryn Rademaker

I know what you’re thinking—“Man, this is a super catchy tune! Especially with the cool acoustic snaps at the beginning and the wicked choir that just hits you during the chorus—I just wanna jump up and clap along!” (That’s definitely what you were thinking.)

As much as I agree with you (and admit that I hardcore JAM to this song every time I hear it), I’ve come to realize the lyrical beauty of “Brother” over the past few weeks after seeing NEEDTOBREATHE in concert at SEEK2019.

*Side plug: if you’re a living, breathing human, go check out this year’s FOCUS conference site to watch life-changing videos of other living, breathing humans chatting about our Lord at*

Anyway, back to this month’s song.  There’s much more to it than its musical aspects—“Brother” (feat. Gavin DeGraw) speaks volumes about a desperate need in our world today, one that is necessary for our individual and communal salvation: authentic friendship.   If you haven’t already noticed, LIFE IS TOUGH!  You know what is even more tough than life? Life without other people to walk it with.  

St. Thomas Aquinas agrees, exclaiming, “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”

Man, what a baller saint.  Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Let’s take it back to when our Lord first created us as described in Genesis 2:19.  Scripture says, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”

Imagine what it would have been like in Adam’s shoes, being the only one on this crazy big earth with a bunch of things to do by himself… that sounds ROUGH.  The thing is, sometimes it can seem like we are living Adam’s life before Eve came around, being the only one on this crazy big earth with a bunch of things to do by ourselves…

Loneliness is real, people.  And the Lord intended from the beginning for us to never be alone in this life.

Praise GOD for giving Adam someone to live life with!  Praise God for giving us people to live life with as well!  We need brothers and sisters to run this race with, and as much as we are afraid to admit it, we cannot do anything by ourselves.  

Now you may be thinking, “Well of course I need friends—but where are they?  Why hasn’t God given me any authentic, awesome friends to live life with?”  I’ll tell you this: you’re not alone in thinking that you have no true friends.  First, remember that the Lord of Lords is ALWAYS a friend (and definitely the greatest friend, like 10/10 recommend). But my greatest piece of advice to you is prayer: pray for 1) the eyes to see the true friends in your life, and 2) the gift of virtuous, supportive, loving friendships.  Don’t forget to be that friend to someone else as well, because the more you practice solid friendship, the easier it is to have great friends in return.

Since we have the greatest witnesses of friendship as friends up in heaven, let’s hear it from the experts themselves (you guessed it, more of our baller saints!):

  • “God sends us friends to be our firm support in the whirlpool of struggle.  In the company of friends we will find strength to attain our sublime ideal.” – St. Maximilian Kolbe
  • “Don’t expect your friend to be a perfect person.  But instead, help your friend to become a perfect person.  That’s true friendship…” – St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
  • “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

Seek out those who are lost, don’t be afraid to love those who are broken, and be a loving brother to those who need carrying home.  


~NEEDTOBREATHE is a Christian rock band hailing from South Carolina.  A collection of two legit brothers (Bear and Bo Rinehart) and two close friends (Seth Bolt and Josh Lovelace), this quad has been performing together prior to the release of their 2001 album The Feature.  The name of their band, NEEDTOBREATHE, originates from the Greek story of Socrates trying to seek out God.  Some of their other hits include upbeat tunes like “HAPPINESS,” “TESTIFY,” “Something Beautiful,” and “Multiplied.”

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