«A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle» (Proverbs 18:19).
Cain’s assassination of Abel was an act that broke the hearts of his parents. How had it been possible for one of their sons to rise up against his own brother and kill him? The truth is that it was not a spontaneous act, rather, it was the result of a series of attitudes that gave way for the older brother to commit that terrible homicide. Ellen White narrates it in the following way: «He thought that his father Adam had been treated harshly in being expelled from Eden. The idea of keeping that sin ever before the mind, and offering the blood of the slain lamb as a confession of entire dependence upon a power outside of himself, was torture to the high spirit of Cain. Being the eldest, he thought that Abel should follow his example. When Abel’s offering was accepted of God, the holy fire consuming the sacrifice, Cain’s anger was exceedingly great. The Lord condescended to explain matters to him; but he would not be reconciled to God, and he hated Abel because God showed him favor. He became so angry that he slew his brother»—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, ch. 6, pp. 77, 78.
Cain cultivated a false concept of God, considering unjust how He had expelled his parents from Eden. He let his heart grow in anger toward the heavenly Father. Trust in God? Well, he could do it, but it would be under his own conditions. This is how he created his own model of salvation and worship of the Lord, showing it clearly in the offering of the fruit and not offering the sacrifice of the lamb he had been asked for. When rejected, to his resentment of God was added frustration, anger, bitterness, and hatred, a dangerous combination that was later channeled toward Abel, his brother.
A bad relationship with God can lead to constant quarrels with your family members, especially your siblings, if you happen to have brothers and sisters. But the combination of hatred, disgust, and disappointment is a trigger for a reckless tongue, which can lead to a greater misfortune. That’s why you shouldn’t let such attitudes remain in your heart. In such cases, it is better to attack the root of the problem and reconcile with God and your family members.
Today ask the Lord to help you strengthen your ties with your family through wise, timely, and edifying words.