Isolated?

IsolatedI have some friends that never let you pay for anything. They never want you to do anything for them because they don’t want to feel ‘in debt’ to them. I find this quite sad.

In Gen 4 we read the story of Cain and Abel and how sin uses Cain’s feeling of rejection to strike out in anger at his brother. After God’s first response to Cain’s sin (trying to engage in relationship through questions!), Cain reacts to the punishment he receives from God. He finds it too difficult to bear. He feels so low and worthless that he expects anybody that he meets will kill him.

However God responds with grace to Cain’s anguish, even though Cain doesn’t ask for it. God puts a mark on Cain that will protect him.

Cain seems to be like my friends who never want you to do anything for them. Although God has given him his protection, Cain rejects it. How do I know this? He goes and builds a city! In the culture of the day, a city was walled and a place of protection. Cain tries to create his own safe place, rather than accept God’s protection.

For me this image is of someone locked up and distant from others. Cain has rejected what God has done for him and rather than empower him, it isolates him.

Makes me wonder where I don’t accept what God has done for me? Am I trying to earn his grace? Am I trying to earn his love? Are there things I’m trying to redo that he has already done for me? How does this lead to isolation and lack of community in my life?

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Thanks for reading. What do you think? Do these questions relate to you? How?

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