Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bible bullies: Cain

Genesis 4:2-15

Abel was a shepherd. Cain was a farmer. Cain brought an offering of fruit to the Lord. Abel brought the firstborn. While it specifically states that Abel brought a firstborn, it doesn’t say Cain brought the first fruits. Rather than apologize or fix the mistake, Cain took his anger out on his brother. After all God liked Abel better so if he got rid of his brother there would be no competition. Cain was selfish and did not want to give God his first, his best. He did not want to change.

I think Cain became the first bully (as well as the first murderer). He doesn’t show any remorse over any of his actions. How is it that this first son lacks conscience and conviction? Abel had conscience and conviction. Each of their responses, their attitudes, must be a result and combination of parenting, personality and choice.

But that’s not the only thing I notice. Bullies have obviously been around a long time. Due to our humanity we will never be able to eliminate the bully problem. Some people cannot or will not be fixed or changed. That’s why anti-bully programs shouldn’t be about just teaching empathy and sympathy, but also about empowering potential victims and how to react and deal with bully encounters.