by Bolaji Olusola Timothy
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The cloud of anger gathered very fast while the down pour of cruelty quickly swallow the promising future of a young man by the flood supervised by envy! Cain was angry and was going to give judgment on someone else for his own negligence, carelessness and mistakes. God was untouchable, but the man who won His favour must be punished with death for getting it right! Envy is such a great forerunner and motivator of much wickedness in our world; wherever envy is found, devil is nearby!
Abel sacrifice was accepted while his was rejected (Gen 54:5-6 ), How and why can that be? He must suffer for good deeds! He tricked him into the field, isolated Abel from every possible route of escape, to place where he was stranded and helpless! And he cruelly killed him. After anger and envy had accomplished their intentions, Cain thought it was over and thereafter thought to isolate God from the same matter when God confronted him with a very important issue ďwhere is thy brother and Cain answered ďIím I my brother keeper?Ē
Is it not possible that similar things would happen among believers! Is it not possible in some denominations and Christian gatherings! Whenever we put attitudes such as what has my brothers or sistersí life got to do with mine? I have mine and they have their s and everyone should go about their ways., then we are operating in Cainís theology, which encourages selfishness and self-centeredness and where these is found, cruelty and greediness are just the common entourage and companion in such environment.
Envy is a violent and inconsiderate resentment and feelings someone has to another for the lacks of quality, achievement or possession. This had great records of destroying great men and women with great dreams. Envy is a dynamic negative emotional syndrome that affects the human thoughts, behaviours, choices and relationship. Every human being have high tendency to envy except when God had helped such a life with understanding about life and grace of purposefulness. . This syndrome often commences with the creation of scale of measurement or competitive platform by which other successes, achievement, attainment, possession and progresses are measured. In a situation such as judged better, higher and greater by this fellow who is envious, bitterness, anger and covetousness are set in actions. Envy does not operate in isolation of other negative emotional behavior. It often operate as depression when others go ahead of the victim. An envious person get satisfied, if such desired object of competition is lost or destroyed ;while some may take it a responsibility to effect such adverse outcome on their victims. Although, it may be motivations as being claimed by some people based on their understanding about life however, it is an oscillating thin boundary , such can easily relapse into convenient posture of envy, where depression, anger , pride and witch hunting other people successes are prevalent , more so, if their several attempts to be like such is not yielding required result. It may be difficult to discern if the person is a good pretender. Pride and greed are not often far from such mind and this can be complicated where there is hatred, this take over and supervise every action with an intension to kill or destroyed. That was the state of Cain, Saul and King Herod; they took delight in the death of the resented person since that will possibly ease their successes, achievement, attainment and possession. Some wonít mind to get the name of the dead people who they thought did better than them from the history book of fame, with their achievement well cleaned off from the pages of history! This is rather an unfortunate and wasteful venture and wrong focus in the effort of processing envyís delight.
It is a terrible situation when ideology, belief, culture, principles, Education, training and resources are based and built on the principle of envy. It often leads to wastage of precious lives, opportunities, privileges and potentials. When men and women in authorities are inflected with this disease of envy, they are likely going to misuse and abuse authority, privileges, and power vested on them. A guardian and counsellor saddle with responsibility to mode life will give bias and misleading counsel to and instruction as a result of envy to derail or lower the tempo of successes and achievement temporarily or permanently and get this receipt of grace injured or damaged psychologically or physically.
Two good friends can keep moving with great peace until a scale of measurement or platform of competitiveness is initiated by one person thereby considering himself inferior. It leads the inflected person into serious hatred, find cheap faults! Two children from the same parent like Cain and Abel can eternally be driven apart by the grace of this terrible inflection of envy! When this is found in a denomination, there will be confusion, quarrel and intense gossiping among the members; Christ cannot be expressed in such community! They are going to hinder themselves from enjoying the grace of God as should be. Where our brother welfare does not make any meaning to our living and life style and we wonít mind if they die, waste , fail, sick, suffer or get destroyed, this is Cainís theology and God will seriously judge with scattering!
If Abel had lived longer, we could have learned some striking acts of proper worship when there was no or little information in doing so, but such potential was terminated. How many of such great dream that could have helped humanity and church of God, but have been callously wheeled off by the cruelty of envy just as Joseph was sold into captivity. Great ideas and lives that could have delivered generations of people have been destroyed through envy just as Cain killed Abel. It could be also; that some leaders, privilegde men and woman are today destroying potential coming leaders just as Saul did attempted to kill David and King Herod did too, attempting to kill Christ. He intended to smash him against the wall with cruel javelin. We can imagine how Christ was stripped of his robe and dragged into the presence of Pilate. This was just the exploit of envy that organize conspiracy against him, It is important to note that if we cannot keep our brother just as Cain could not keep his brother, it is a SIN! When JudahĎs first born son was dead, though was wicked, tradition expected Oínan to a raise a seed in his brotherís instead. Oínan schemed situation so as to prevent such because of his self-centeredness, God judged him for this.
1. The absence of God will create envy and will result into a prolonged retrogress.
2. Envy is an indication of the level of insecurities and insecurities are products of consistent mistakes, ignorance and stubbornness.
3. Envy is an indication that we lack required growth we should have in necessary areas.
4. It is an indication that we have been distracted from the relevant purpose and understanding of life. Envy is an indication that a man has not probably discovered who they are, what they have and need. It is an indication that man had not used or discover God given talent and grace or he has not appropriately utilize or manage them wisely. There is satisfaction in falling purpose. envy is an indication of pride and covetousness if we cannot be contented with what we have we will dread the little and much that other have worked for and not willing to learn what is required to learn.
5. Envy is an indication of our laziness, ignorance and foolishness .Envy is usually the product of competitiveness and poorly handled opportunities..
Helen Keller said it is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of envy.
Cain and Abel were given equal opportunity; However, Cain didnít use his and hated his brother for making use of his opportunity. The conditions for acceptance of an offering was not based on animal or plant products, that will be a misinterpretation of Godís intension and mode of operation if this is linked with blood. It was basically on the content of their heart as stated in Gen 4:6. God did confront him with the fact that sin was within his house
If we have lived for ourselves all these while and our prayers had been just for ourselves, we have been living wrongly and guilty of the offence of Cain by action and thought. It is possible that by our unnecessary silence and negligence we might have sent some people into the grave just as Cain did to Abel. In the summary of the whole law, Christ established that we have responsibilities to God and humanity and these two cannot be separated from each other (Matt 22:37-40. Cain failed in both, he could not love God or others he only thinks about himself ďand that is where he got it all wrong. It is most important that we love God and there will be a reflection of our love to humanity (I john 5:2) the true revelation of God is love for humanity if we love God it must be reflected in the love we have for humanity I john 4:21
We Are Our Brotherís Keeper
we are our brotherís keeper as we were not born alone, neither can we live all this life by ourselves, we have responsibilities to others contrary to the response of Cain. Abraham assembled his forces, three hundred and eighteen (318) when he heard that Mr. Lot his brother had been captured (Gen 14:12-16 ). Joseph said ďAnd God had sent me before you to preserves you posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance (Gen 45:7-8). The Lord instructed the reubenite and half tribe of Manasseh despite the fact that theyíve had their possession to continue with their brothers until they have also possessed their possessions. Boaz raisde a seed for the deceased relative. Esther risked her life to preserve her people. Abigail preserved the life of her callous husband. Selfishness and envy are contamination (viruses) in the program of God. Jesus came into the world for his people not for himself (Mat. 1:21). He needed nothing but that we might have all things, so he was around.
Cain understood Godís concern and expectation when He asked him about his brother Abel. However, he would not want to take responsibility over keeping the one that appears better than him since he couldnít stand the success, he murdered him. Being our brother or sister keeper involved
a. Protection from any foreigner and stranger from having access to the asset (people)kept in our oneís custody (Brother and Sister)
b. Care with utmost concern and prevent from being corrupted
c. Sacrifice in order to ensure the comfort and safety of these assest
d. Make provision where necessary for the need of the assets entrusted into our hand.
e. Work to give worthy and credible upgrade, improvement and growth to human lives entrusted into our hands
f. We are also our brother keeper, when we make our brethren part of our life in his absence and presence.
g. A brotherís keeper is committed to making sure and committed to creating and maintaining the atmosphere of peace, he is devoted to other Ďs people welfare and well being however he is not a compromiser of Godly and worthy values
He who is his brother keeper will not be intimidated by his brother or sisterís success. It is easier to be a keeper when you are operating the purpose and intention of God for your life. There is no need to envy or copy anotherís man purpose or success. A brotherís keeper will boost his brother credible efforts, lend an ear when a brother or sister falls or make mistake. He will share in his/her pains and joy. he does not go about stealing glories and honour meant for others. He is around when the going get difficult and get stayed still to find solution or wait when God when things are not pleasant. Anyone who has a reason to discriminate cannot be a good brother keeper that God can entrust with other peopleís lives. He do Understand that human lives are kept in our custody and we have to take responsibility to watch carefully and sincerely.
The True religion as defined by James 1:27
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Jesus told His disciples in John 13:34,35, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. Caring for One Another , Sharing, and distributing are part of what is common in gathering we men and women recognizes the need to be their brother and sister keeper.
In Godís theology, God wonít tolerate a man for an offence to another brother/ but envy is one very potent way of being an offence to a progressing brother or child of God and God wonít take it as a mild thing. Infact, the penalty of being such was made explicit in Mk 9:42, Lk 17:1-2. In Godís theology, our liberty, privileges, grace, knowledge, understanding and whatever that seems to us as an advantage should be put under control so as to prevent an avenue of misleading those who lack such. This is well articulated in Rom 14:1-23. In our conduct, attitude, behavior even in having fellowship or worship, in the theology of God we must be our brotherĎs keeper. Even if we are offended by our brother we are instructed in Mathew 6; 14, 18:21, Mk11:25, Eph4:32 on the manner of our conduct and ultimately forgive which is our responsibility.
And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ sake hat forgiven you Eph 4:32
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