And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? Genesis 4:9
Well, Am I My Brother's Keeper?
There are so many lessons in this telling of Cain and Abel. I am struck by the snarkiness of Cain’s answer, which gets right to the heart of the kind of relationship he personally had with God. But that’s not what I’m to share with you today. Some other time, perhaps.
Today, we are exploring the answer to that question for ourselves. Are WE our brother’s keeper?
Especially, but not exclusively, in the US , we take a lot of pride in being independent. We like to think of success as being something we reach alone. We boast and viciously protect our freedoms. Some claim the right to be unproductive with the same vigor that others put in to trying to own everything in the world. You can be almost anything you want to be in this country. If you’re willing to do what it takes, you can literally do anything you want. But do we really do it alone?
There are times when we mistake pride for independence. There is nothing wrong with interdependence. A finger is always a finger, but it is much more useful attached to a working hand, arm and body than it will ever be by its self.
Jesus poured out his life that we would be one even as he and the Father are one (John 17:22). He wanted us to be interdependent, as a body is. Not beaten into compliance under a tyrrant, but becoming a single, well functioning unit.
Services like the military, firefighters, police officers, hospitals, each of these works best when everyone is focused on the same mission and performs his or her assignments to the best of their ability. I may not want the housekeeper to do my surgery in the hospital, but I want my room to be clean and my bed made just like I want my surgeon to be focused and skilled. Different offices, different administrations, same body.
We as a body of believers are responsible to and for each other. We do not act alone. We were grafted into one vine, responsible for our own fruit, sure, but also responsible to the whole plant. If you flourish, so do I. If I fall short, so do you. One body, many members.
Be careful, dear one, when pride comes between you and your brother. That’s part of the lesson of Cain and Able too. Pride can keep you from so much, but most importantly, it can drive you from your purpose and from the very presence of God. Lay down your pride before it puts you down. After all, even non-believers understand that pride goes before a fall.
Are we our brother’s keeper? Yes. We are. And our brother is our keeper. And we are all kept by the Master.
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. John 17:9-11
Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. If you wish to be added to the list, please send an email to email@example.com
455 Hwy 138
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor