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Am I My Brother's Keeper?

“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’
And he said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9.

When Cain asks this question of God so long ago, he has no idea how dramatically the answer will chart the course of human history nor how timeless the principle will be. All he has in mind is to diffuse God’s question and try to get himself out of a jam.

In fact, the question is so absurd that God doesn’t even dignify it with a direct answer. He just tells Cain the severe consequences of his action, that is, of his having killed his brother Abel. And in the First Corinthian letter, the Apostle Paul repeats the principle through examples that show the extent of our responsibility to each other.

Not only are we responsible to help each other in everyday affairs of life, but we must make sure that our actions, even our liberties, don’t cause others to justify some sinful behavior. This mandate makes us realize the extreme responsibility God has placed upon us: we are our brother’s keeper both physically and spiritually.

"Thought for the Week - 02/07/2016" Joe Norton of Arlington, Texas.