“You have heard that it was said… ‘You shall not murder…’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment… So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:21-24
No doubt, Jesus was thinking about Cain when He said this.
There are times when anger is appropriate, but this was not one of them. Cain’s anger came from jealousy, selfishness, and his own stubborn pride. And he refused to do anything about it.
Don’t pretend to love God if you hate your brother. John says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar” (1 John 4:20).
When the apostle John looks for an example, he chooses Cain. “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother” (1 John 3:12, NIV). Then John draws an incredible contrast between Cain and Christ: “This is how we know what love is,” he says, “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (3:16, NIV).
Cain took his brother’s life. Jesus Christ laid down His life for His brothers.
Is there someone you need to reconcile with? Don’t put it off.