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The More Appreciated Brother - a short story by A.B.King

   Once upon a time there lived two brothers (step - brothers actually). One’s name was Peter and the other one’s name was Paul.
   Peter was always doing exceptionally well in school and always came home with excellent grades whereas Paul though he was nicely behaved student always came home with mostly average grades.
   Both brothers loved each other but Paul was often tempted to be jealous of his brother’s stellar academic performance. He found it difficult keeping himself in check but always managed to put up a fake smile whenever anyone celebrated or praised his brother’s excellent grades.
   Paul did all he could to be as good as his brother is academically.
   Paul listened and took notes in class, Paul increased the amount of time he spends reading in the public library, Paul replaced watching Saturday morning cartoons with watching educational TV programs and he even went as far as building the clever habit of daily late night reading. All of these improved his grades and people praised him for it but his grades where still not on the same level with his brothers.
   Paul was a Christian so he knew it was wrong for him to be jealous of his brother. He had read the story of Cain and Abel and knew that hating one’s brother always ends badly. Besides, God doesn’t smile upon those who hate their own brother or half-brother as the case may be.
   However, sometimes Paul found suppressing those feelings of jealousy quite difficult, maybe even impossible. And Paul was afraid of what he might do someday during one of those moments. He was afraid he would do something there is no going back from.
   Soon Paul often found himself crying secretly and hoping that God would take away the jealousy from his heart but anytime he heard someone praise his brother and not him, or not as much as they praised him, it would make him quite mad but he would always put up a fake smile.
   One day at school, Paul decided to jeopardize his brother’s science project. Paul’s plan would definitely not only make Peter fail the school test thereby giving Paul a chance to do better than Peter in the school test but it would also make Peter look like a good boy turned bad boy prankster. It was the perfect way for Paul to act on his jealousy.
   After Paul set everything up and walked away, he started thinking about all the good things his brother has done for him. His brother has done him no wrong. His brother didn’t deserve this.  It was then that Paul could clearly see that even though he wasn’t going to kill his brother, he was being just as bad as Cain was to Abel. Paul rushed back into the science lab and undid what he did, but Peter caught him.
   Peter asked Paul what he was doing.
   Paul was dumbfounded. Later he broke down and told Peter everything.
   Peter put his hand around his half-brother and comforted him. He loved him – he STILL loved him. Nothing would change that. Besides, it was hard for someone with a strong relationship with God like the one Peter had to hate somebody.
   Peter told Paul that all the things he did to improve his academic performance is good but there is one thing that is extremely important that he didn’t do.
   Peter told Paul that that important thing is studying and meditating on the word. It increases our thinking level and makes us think and see life differently from others.
   Studying and meditating on the word of God makes us become accurately insightful, expertly circumspect and superbly clever. It makes us function in exceptional wisdom. It makes our minds sharper and enhances the capacity of our memory.
   Peter helped Paul work on his relationship with God and when Paul filled his heart with God’s word it repelled his feelings of jealousy and there was no space in his heart for jealousy to return to.
   Plus reading the word also did all that Peter told Paul it would do and Paul’s grades became as exceptional as Peter’s grades were.
   Peter also taught Paul a most important lesson, that in life we are not in competition with anyone. We should just do our best to be all that God wants us to be and focus on just that.


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