Pages

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good vs. Bad: Why Death takes the good guys first



Ever since the first recorded death on the Bible, the good guys usually die first. Abel vs. Cain is the first human personification of good vs. bad, and until today it’s usually the good guys who get seduced by Death.
            The contrast of the Abels and Cains in this world has been going on for centuries after the first murder, and is still the example that is being shown today. There’s a Filipino joke among teens where they say, “Ang bait mo, sana kunin ka na ni Lord.”(You’re so nice; I hope the Lord takes you). It’s neither an insult nor a compliment (but it depends on the recipient), but simply stating something we’ve subconsciously noticed: that the good ones go first.
            I’ve never really been the religious type, except for the fact that I went to a Christian school through my elementary and high school days. I knew how to pray the rosary, I knew the Ten Commandments, I knew who the 12 disciples were, but I always wanted to know why the good guys got “taken” first since I was nine.
            Another nine years later, I got my answer.
            A friend we’ll call Anne had her aunt pass away suddenly. She was still getting over the shock of it all, and she kept telling me that her aunt was the nicest person in the world. She always gave what she could give without asking for anything in return. From what I heard Anne’s aunt was another Abel-a nice person who went to heaven, leaving the Cains behind.
            And that’s when it struck me.
            The reason the Cains get left behind is not because of unfinished business, or that they have a long life ahead of them. The Cains were left behind because they had to do something before they died that the Bible has mentioned over and over: they had to repent.
            An Abel is someone who isn’t always doing the right thing, but they try to. They help people when they could; they may or may not be religious but believes in a Higher Being; and lives life the simplest way they could.
            The Cains are those who aren’t ultimately bad guys, but are easily swayed into giving in to temptation. They are the ones who know they’re doing the wrong thing but they do it anyway. They are the ones who show us who we don’t want to be, and makes everything else complicated.
            It was then that I had another realization: the reason Cains stay on Earth is that they’re given the chance to become an Abel. Which brings me back to my first conclusion: Cains needed to repent.
            The concept of Repentance has been practically drilled into our heads when we were kids, Catholic school or not. During Mass we are told to return to God and do His Will. Repent is defined as the feeling of regret or remorse over something, and the priests have been telling us to repent of our sins.
            Repentance has been taught to us as our “ticket” into getting into heaven. We are taught that God easily forgives if we find it in us to repent, which transforms any Cain into an Abel.
            This may seem easy enough to do, but it’s not. Everyone knows it’s not.
            We’ve been taught that we had to be genuinely repentant. Saying that you were sorry for your sins didn’t count if in the back of your mind you knew you were going to do it again didn’t count.  
             The Holy Week centers on the idea of Repentance. We remember Jesus dying for us in the cross, another example of Abel. We are constantly reminded that Jesus died for us, for the Cains, for us to see the example of whom we should follow. We may not all be priests or nuns, but just being the person we know Abel would be is all God wants.
             And even though we die first because we became Abels, we will be remembered, just as Anne’s aunt was remembered. As a person worth crying for, a person worth talking to a friend you weren’t close to in the first place. In the end turning into an Able in a world of Cains saves you, just as He promised. Abels don’t die because in fact they’re given a life forever for choosing to be an Abel and not a Cain.

            Death isn’t the end when you’re an Abel. It’s the beginning of Eternal Life.

------------------
This post may be kind of deep, so I'm just going to ask a question for the comments:
Have you ever had someone you know die and you believe they were and Abel? What qualities do they have to be worthy of being called an "Abel?"

23 comments:

  1. As much as I don't really agree with the idea that the good die young and 'ang masasamang damo e matagal mamatay', I agree with the idea of improving one's self and how here in life that's what every man or woman should strive for.
    On the subject of repentance: What do you think of Dimas? Was he a repentant thief or a con man? If you're on Good Friday mode on the subject, please visit http://kutsonpress.blogspot.com/2014/04/not-so-obscure-bible-verses-4-ikalabing.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the important reminder! I have forgotten the story over the years, so this was nice.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am not sure if you have ever herad the song. Only The Good Die Young sung by Billy Joel. Great song, you should listen to it sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is such a great deep thought! We believe that God knows exactly when he needs us on the other Side. We believe in life after death. And This life is a proving ground for us. God gives us all the opportunities to do our best in this life. When our work here is finished, he takes us home. Sometimes he leaves the "cains" because to be a just God he has to give them all the chances possible for them to repent and become "abels". But sometimes HE knows when they have had all the chances and will not change. sometimes he leaves the Cains here to seal their judgement on them. But many Abels are left on earth as well. So they can fulfill the work they have need to do here. Raise a family or help other abels. Or even to give the cains another chance.
    But that all said and done; we believe that GOD knows when the right time is for each person to pass on. And HE takes great care with us once we do.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very beautiful. I grew up in the Christian church as well and I could relate to this. It does seem the evil people seem to live much longer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My grandmother was an Abel, but she had Alzheimer's and became essentially a vegetable with no quality of life for like 10 years. I used to pray that God would take her, because it was as if she was already gone. Who knows how those workers treated her at the nursing home she was in? I never understood why she had to "live on" like that. But, it did occur to me it was part of the bigger plan for all of us in her family.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This post definitely is deep to say the least. A sweet little baby boy recently just passed away. He always had a sweet little smile and was the best little baby. He was definitely an Abel!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The old saying really is true, "Only the good die young." It seems like bad people keep chugging along.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm a Catholic and I believe in God. Other then that I'm not exactly sure what it is you're asking.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a very interesting post. There is actually a song this reminds me of, "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Not sure I can answer that question with out a lot more thought. However this post is very interesting and thought provoking. Must think on this some more.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anne aunt sounds a lot like me. Always giving without looking forward to anything in return. Sounds like a really great read.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What an interesting way to look at it - I have to admit I've never thought about it before.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have always said that the unkind people live longer because they need more time to show they can be good.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You are so right that death is not the end. To experience eternal life you do have to be not just the good guy, but the guy saved by grace which happens when you believe in Jesus Christ

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's an interesting food for thought post. Luckily, not all of the good die young, my grandparents got pretty up there (I'm happy to say). :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am on the fence with this. I know some really great people that were fortunate to live a long and happy life. And I know some people who would in this case be called a Cain that made horrible decisions and self destructed at a very early age.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think the "bad" guys always seem to get more breaks and chances because the forces are trying to give the bad guys another (and another) chance to make good. I do think the Abels that I know are caring and selfless without being martyrs.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm not sure what to say to this while being genuine. I don't believe this at all..good people die young because they go to heaven? They don't NEED to hang around and repent? Ugh. Don't get me started.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Such a thought provoking post. I can't even comment on it yet because I'km tossing it around in my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I had a person named Abel in my class in school, does that count?

    ReplyDelete
  22. I don't really have something like that.. or have experienced any of those. I actually don't want to think about it. Too sad.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, quite deep, but I see what you're saying. Very interesting. No one knows why it rains on the just and the unjust, I guess. It just does :(

    ReplyDelete

Disclaimer

Subscribe Now: standardSmall