“We must not be like Caine, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Caine had been doing what was evil and his brother was doing what was righteous. So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” – 1John 3:12-13 NLT
Yes, doing what we know to be right comes with a cost in this world. Go along to get along feels like the mantra of our day. And if you don’t go along, well then you present a problem to those who want everyone to go along.
Don’t believe doing what is right creates a fuss? Well now, in our current world good morals ruffle feathers every day. What if I were the principal in a high school? Would I go along with boys on the girls track team, Bathrooms being shared by both men and women, Critical Race Theory being taught? Oh these be only a few big issues I would face. As many of you know me well you likely are thinking, “Pat you won’t have a job long,” and you are right. Because I stand for something I would be fired.
Thus for you and me the question is not will we face persecution for doing right, but rather will we stand even when persecution comes?
Cain’s brother was murdered. Jesus died on the cross. Peter endured prison and suffered an awful death. More recently Corie Ten Boom spent time in a concentration camp. A pastor in Canada went to jail for preaching. Pastors in China risk prison or even death for sharing the truth. God does not prevent all suffering for his children.
Will you stand or will you go along to get along?
I remember way back when I first read about Cain and Abel. Back then I would ask, “So what difference did it really make if Abel sacrificed an animal and Cain part of his crop? Since then I have come to understand that a blood sacrifice was required for sin. Even at the beginning blood was the cost of sin. So Abel did what God required. Cain could have done that too, but instead he did what I believe was easier. He gave something that had no blood, something not so messy, something requiring less of him. And when God shook his head so to speak then Cain likely thought, “not fair!” Cain could have, should have, maybe even would have except that he chose to do things his own way. Sounds like something I have often heard said even among fellow believers. What does it matter so long as it gets done? Well how you do something and why you do something matter as much as what you are doing.
Let us not be like Cain, wanting the gospel to be customizable according to our desires and thus condemning those who actually take God at his word and do as he says. The world has too many Cains already. We need more folks like Abel, folks willing to do what is right even if others disagree with them. Stand firm brothers and sisters.