The success of a man’s peers reveals the man’s heart.
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” So much is revealed in one question! Cain saw Abel as insignificant. He dehumanized Abel. “Why should I care about Abel?” Cain evidently began to resent Abel in order to exalt himself. His low view of his brother led to jealousy, pride, and murder.
Why do we get jealous?
Jealousy and envy reveal a misplaced sense of justice. It’s misplaced because we think WE deserve what the other person has. Since we deserve it as much or more than they, they must have gotten it unfairly. They cheated. And it’s up to us to defend ourselves and take what should be ours.
Cain killed Abel because Abel was blessed by God. But Cain could have also been blessed by God if he had listened to and obeyed God. It seems much easier to blame others than to change our own behavior.
We humans are masters at devaluing others.
When we dehumanize them, our own brand of “justice” comes much easier.
- It’s seen in a husband who demeans or beats his wife to control her.
- It’s seen in bullies who secretly fear that everyone else is better than they.
- It’s the thief who justifies his practice by saying “They don’t deserve this much anyway.”
- It’s the killer who sees a life inferior.
It’s why we love to see people fail.
We want the good guys to lose, or the mighty to fall because they offend our sense of justice. Their advantage cannot be based upon their strengths or our weaknesses. Their successes must be explained by their rottenness and our righteousness. Their greed and cheating gave them an unfair advantage.
It’s why millionaires are cursed and called cheats.
It’s not a far jump from jealousy to dehumanization. And from there it’s only a matter of degree to murder.
See the value of others.
Rich or poor, blessed or not, we must learn to see people as valuable! That is the first key to loving them. See them as humans, made in the image of God. In fact, this one adjustment will cure many social ills that surround us. Jealousy, pride, revenge, misplaced justice, murder–these all relate to the value of the victim.
Jesus saw great value in humanity. He loves us. He values us. He understands and wants to help us.
Your first step to loving people better is learning to see their value. Start today!
May we help you do it?