#162 Raising Cain 1 John 3:12May 1st, 2012 | By admin | Category: The Basics (click on Article name)
Ever feel threatened by someone else’s ability and talent? Ever feel competition because of the need to be heard or recognized?
Let’s determine to grow a different kind of garden, instead of ‘raising Cain.’
Love and hatred both start with a thought.
Much love in Christ,
#162 Raising Cain 1 John 3:12
“For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.” 1 John 3:11-12
There is a pattern suggested in the phrase “his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.” Abel is described as “righteous Abel” Matthew 23:35. He was referred to as righteous because righteousness and obedience was the tenor of his life. Abel had a defining moment when he ‘obtained the testimony that he was righteous.’ Hebrews 11:4 He offered a better sacrifice than his brother Cain, a sacrifice of the best of his flocks, and through this wholehearted act of worship and perhaps also his understanding of animal sacrifice, he lived this defining moment to God’s glory. Cain also had a defining moment which took place in stages.
a. First he offered the fruit of the ground. There is no mention of the first-fruits, in contrast to Abel who offered the firstling of his flock and of their fat portions” Genesis 4:3-4
b. When his sacrifice was not accepted by God Cain got angry and it showed in his face. Genesis 4:5
c. Then God counseled him and, spoke to him in the moment of his greatest need, the moment of his rage against Abel. Genesis 4:36-8 Cain chose to ignore the counsel of God.
d. Cain spoke to his brother, and they went to a field. Genesis 4:8 Cain orchestrated a circumstance of isolation so he could act out the anger that burned in his heart.
e. He murdered his brother, and then he lied about it. Genesis 4:9 “Where is Abel your brother?” “I don’t know,” was Cain’s answer.
f. And then Cain reveals a very destructive pattern he had developed. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
YES! The very fact that Abel was his brother should have been enough to define a role of connection and support between them. Cain was living a pattern of disconnect with those closest to him.
We are counseled to ‘love one another, not as Cain…’ 1 John 3:11-12 Each step that Cain chose to take provides a lesson for us in our relationships with others.
a. Offer the first-fruits: Put God and God’s will as the priority of our lives, willing to see and live HIS perspective even when it differs from our own.
b. Emotional reaction shows in our body. This awareness can help us to be aware of emotional reaction.
c. Admit and be open to adjust our interpretations that arise when we compare our ‘failures’ to the blessings of others. Be open to the word of God in times of emotional reaction.
d. Avoid the scenarios that may lead to actions and words that come from emotional reaction.
e. Take responsibility and have the integrity to admit when we act destructively, when we hurt others in any way.
f. Build a bridge of connection and respect, a bridge of love that creates commitment for the highest good of our brothers and sisters as well as our larger human family.
Within the first 130 years of Adams life Cain murdered his brother. This murder was the result of a process and a pattern of thinking Cain had nurtured over time. “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (The sin process begins with a desire, which is a thought.) Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:14-15 The character of Cain which was developed over time is used as an illustration of some who rebel against God. Jude 1:4, 8, 10-11. The righteousness process also begins with desire. If our desire is to love one another, we need to grow a different garden than Cain. Sow deep respect for God, self and others and reap cooperation and connection that will not be uprooted by competition and insecurity.