Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. — Genesis 4:8
The famous story of Cain being upset that his offering wasn’t accepted by God but his brother’s was sets the tone for the strife we see throughout the Bible. Cain’s response was murder.
Things would have turned out differently if he had just paused instead of acting on his violent impulse. He didn’t stop to consider why his offering wasn’t accepted. What could he have learned if he had simply talked to God about it? Also, he didn’t express his feelings to Abel. What insight or support could his brother have offered? Cain would never know because he let anger, jealousy, and misplaced revenge rule over him.
If he had asked questions, there would have been a different biblical model for dealing with conflict. It would have led to increased understanding, mutual growth, stronger relationships, and obedience to God. As it turned out, the blood-soaked ground cried out over Abel’s murder (Genesis 4:10), and hasn’t stopped crying since.
Have you noticed how our culture follows Cain’s lead? Jealousy, accusations, insults, violence: How could such things be avoided if we simply stopped and asked questions instead of inviting our so-called opponents out into the field?
The mission of the church is to provide space for asking questions and promoting peace. If we model that, the world will notice.