Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Figuring out our responsibility to care for and serve others
Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
Image: SUZANNE TUCKER / SHUTTERSTOCK

certainly isn’t on my “Top 10 Inspiring Heroes” from the Bible list. But if I’m honest, he’s on another of my lists: “Big-time Sinners in the Bible I Can really Relate To.”

It’s not the jealousy or the murder that I connect with; rather it’s that self-justifying question he tosses back to God that jumps off the page and often echoes in my own thoughts: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9, NIV).

Cain’s motivations in this defiant interchange with the Almighty are as complicated as any twisting and turning modern-day crime novel.

When I have this attitude, on the other hand, my motivation is pretty simple: I’m aiming to justify a self-focused life.

Let me be honest: There are plenty of days when just “keeping” my own life running—and “keeping” my beloved family—are about all I feel I can handle!

And yet, though God doesn’t directly answer Cain’s question, God does provide you and me with an answer that resonates throughout the entire Bible: yes. From laws about caring for strangers and aliens in the Pentateuch (;) to strident calls for justice for the vulnerable in the Prophets (; ; ); to Jesus’ challenge to love our neighbors—even our enemies—as we love ourselves (; ; to Paul’s teachings about hospitality (); to John’s vision of the just, peaceful kingdom of God come to earth (), the answer is yes, yes, yes.

I am called to be my brother’s . . . my neighbor’s . . . even my enemy’s keeper.

Member access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Kelli B. Trujillo

Kelli B. Trujillo is editor of Today’s Christian Woman. Follow her on Twitter at @kbtrujillo or @TCWomancom.

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign up for our free CT Women newsletter: CT's weekly newsletter highlighting the voices of women writers. We report on news and give our opinion on topics such as church, family, sexuality, discipleship, pop culture, and more!

Read These Next

Comments

Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

May 25

Follow Us

More Newsletters

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
RSS