He knew that the asker already knew the answer, so to deflect blame and redirect the intent of the original question he asked one of his own. "Am I my brother's keeper?" And since that time, Cain's question has been repeated over and over by people who do not want to be responsible for the influence they have had on the actions of others.
Jesus said we are to be salt and light as well as His witnesses to those around. We are responsible for those around us, responsible to help each other avoid those things that would separate us from God Almighty.
Paul, the Apostle, included that idea in the 5th chapter of his second letter to those who lived in Thessalonica, in what is now Greece. He wrote:
And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15).
From Cain to Jesus to Paul to us, we are responsible for each other. We are our brother's keeper. But, and this makes all the difference, we are to hold each other accountable to the teachings of Jesus as members of a family, wanting the best for each other.
Accountability is not difficult when those monitoring it and those who are experiencing know and understand that it's being done of their betterment.
Am I my brother's keeper? Yes!
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