What can we do?

Published 8:36 am Monday, January 23, 2017

There is a deep divide — maybe as deep as at any time since the Civil War.
Is there middle ground? Is there common interest?
Yes, there is — even if it is only survival.
What can we do? We can look to the Bible for answers.
Even if you do not believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, it is the most wisdom-filled book ever.
In Genesis, chapter 4, there were two men, Cain and Abel.
They were brothers. They lived in proximity, and shared community and basic core values. Cain was a farmer while Abel was a rancher, one who kept livestock. Their lives and occupations brought them mutual benefit.
Both of these men sought approval from a higher being — in this case, Almighty God. But for the sake of illustration, they could have sought something as basic as public approval.
They made their pitch; that is, an offering to Almighty God. The acceptance or rejection of their offerings carried great implications.
Cain offered the fruit of his fields, likely presented in a pleasing manner. Abel offered one of his animals. Almighty God, in this case the final judge, had the power to accept or reject the offerings.
Both of their offerings, though representing the work of their hands and the best they had to offer, could not be accepted. One had to lose while the other had to win.
Abel won and Cain lost.
What could they do? They had choices, but in anger Cain killed his brother.
As a result, everybody lost.
What could they have done? Accept the outcome and adjust accordingly. The decision of Almighty God was final. There was no recourse.
Between the announcement of the outcome and the physical act of murder by Cain, Almighty God did appeal to Cain to resolve the issue.
God asked Cain, in essence, “Why are you angry? If you do the right thing, you will be accepted; but if you do the wrong thing, sin is crouching at your door.”
God continued the dialogue with Cain, explaining to Cain that he had the power to master the rage within him that could lead to his downfall.
All of us have that same power: to accept or reject circumstances we cannot control. Somebody said, “All the vices bring some kind of pleasure with them except envy and anger; they only bring irritation and rage.” Cain succumbed to the anger and ruined the deal.
Maybe you feel like Cain. What can you do? Yield to the higher power even if it seems unfair and arbitrary.
You never lose by doing the right thing.

Dan Puckett works with road team operations at Life Action Ministries in Buchanan, Michigan.