Early in the opening pages of Genesis, there is the well known story of Cain and Abel. The sons of Adam and Eve had varying interests. Abel, the older son, was a keeper of sheep while his brother Cain was a “tiller of the soil.” Both tasks are necessary and important. But somewhere along the line there was a command from God about their respective sacrifices. There is room for debate on exactly what the problem was and exactly why God rejected Cain’s sacrifice and accepted Abel’s. But to me the real lesson is the reaction of Cain being confronted. It makes me wonder if there is a lesson for us about how we are to handle being confronted or corrected. Clearly, Cain didn’t handle this correctly.
When God confronted Cain, he reacted in these four ways:
1) Anger vs 5 – Quite plainly, Cain became angry.
2) Lashes out in wrong direction and killed his brother in vs 8. – Remember, Abel here is an innocent party. He hasn’t done anything warrant being murdered.
3) Lies & Explains away vs 9. -First he lies to God, “I don’t know (where Abel is).” Of course he knew, he just killed him. Then he responds with this lame explanation, “Am I my brothers keeper?”
4) His is only concerned with himself vs 13 – Cain shows no remorse, no interest in his dead brother, no concerned on how his parents would be hurt. His only response to all this is, “My punishment is more than I can bear!”
Lesson: Don’t be that guy.
When you are confronted or corrected, don;t tread own this road. If you find your first response is to be angry, take a moment and remember Cain and his anger.
Don’t lash out at innocent people. Your sin is not their fault.
Don’t lie about what you did and offer some feeble excuse about this not being your responsibility. You are your brothers keeper.
Finally, humble yourself. You can not be telling people how you were wronged and that somehow you were mistreated by your correction.
No one likes to be confronted and corrected. But when that happens, don’t respond like Cain.
Blessings my friend!