"And the Lord said to Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?"
There are too many 'Cain's' in the church and there are too many folks looking the other way where sin is concerned! The audacity of Cain to respond to God in the way that he did! He refused to be made accountable for his brother. What he ultimately learned, was that all are accountable to God and that there are consequences to pay for failure in this regard.
Cain's jealousy, envy, and hatred for his brother led him to kill him. He was also angry at God for not accepting his sacrifice. But, he didn't bring what he knew he should have in order to please God. He also snapped back at God for bringing Abel, his brother, into the picture. This is how a guilty man responds when he has been caught red handed.
Cain asks God a question....hmmm...."Am I my brother's keeper?" Aren't we just like Cain, in a way? Haven't we said the same thing at one point in time or another? God has asked us the very same thing on different occasions concerning our brother. We may not have realized it, but we have responded in the same rude way that Cain did.
What does it mean to be your brother's keeper? How is it that God expects us to be held accountable for our brother? There are many scriptures that address our responsibility to one another like, not being a stumbling block to our brother, avoiding offenses, and showing love etc...but there is something else that is just as important.
When we see our brother committing sin, what do we do? When we hear our brother speaking evil against someone, how do we respond? When our brother comes to us with juicy gossip about another, how do we react?
It is the thought of some that if they aren't the ones doing the sin or the wrong, it's not for them to get involved. Although we are not directly responsible for the sins of others, we are responsible for what happens on our watch. If we are privy to a situation that dishonors God, we have a duty to do something about it, right there on the spot, or later, call the individual, if at that moment, it isn't wise to pull them aside. We cannot just walk away and do nothing. We have an obligation to our brother! We are our brother's keeper!
Will it take courage to approach our brother to point out his wrong? Absolutely! Will it result in a breach in our relationship? Perhaps, but that can't be the reason we look the other way.
Looking the other way where sin is involved doesn't help our brother. Why did God ask Cain what He did? God expected Cain to be concerned about his brother. There is no difference with us! God's expectations have not changed. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever.
There is something called 'The Sin of Omission'. That is when you fail to respond to an act that was wrong. It is a sin to look the other way when you were present, knowledgable, or privy to a matter. Just because you plead, 'Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil,' does not let you off the hook!
Whether you are young or older, God holds you responsible for your brother. We make one another accountable when we pull each other's coats on negative, or sinful acts. If it is something that God wouldn't be pleased with, we need to address it with our brother, in love, of course.
So the next time someone is gossiping in your presence, sowing discord among the saints (by trying to turn you against others), or treating someone badly or with disrespect in your face, you need to handle it. If they are sinning or told you that they did, you need to handle it. If you get the backlash, oh well, so be it. Who are you looking to please, God or man?
You need to understand, You Are Your Brother's Keeper! You also need to also understand that God will not look the other way with you! He will judge you for the sin of ommission!
"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin."