"Am I my brother's keeper?"
Photo by William Rodrigues dos Santos
The past few years have been the most difficult and spiritually dry season of my life. Burning out after graduation, recovering from a broken relationship, and now struggling to find a place in career, church, and social life, I find myself now going back to the very "beginning" looking for fresh answers.
It's no surprise, I guess, that I started re-reading the book of Genesis. After breezing through the Creation and Fall narratives, I somehow managed to skip right over the story of Cain and Abel in Chapter 4. I'll spare you the finer details, but essentially these two brothers (the first children) are a portrait of man's rebellion. The older brother kills the younger brother out of jealousy, and since then not much has really changed.
What I've always found fascinating is why these two brothers competed for God's affection from the very beginning? What if they first solved their differences, thus doubling their joy in creating a more lasting bond and connection with the Lord? Obviously, we're now seeing the negative fruit of Cain's decision in today's polarized and conflict-ridden world.
Scripture tells us to...
"love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44, ESV).
"for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." (1 John 4:20, ESV).
Recently, I discovered just how difficult it actually is to forgive those who offend you. No person wants to eat their own lunch and admit their failures and shortcomings, but how can we ever prepare for heaven if we can't even reconcile our differences while on earth?
I want to encourage you, if you're walking around with hate in your heart, go attempt to make peace with those people while you still can (Matthew 5:24). Not only will it help you sleep easier at night, but it gives us a chance to plants seeds of hope and healing into the next generation... and that's a future worth fighting for!