Cain and Abel – love vs. duty

Jesse Tree, Day 3: How do we react when someone else is successful and we are not? As we move through the story of Genesis, we arrive at the well-known story of Cain and Abel. Most of us know that Cain killed Abel, but what is not so well known is that Cain was jealous because God approved of the offering Abel had made, but didn’t approve of his offering. The difference was that Abel gave the best from his flock, while Cain did not. One offered the best out of love and the other offered the least out of duty. It is easy to blame others for our failures. Abel gives his life as a consequence of Cain’s failures.

If we come to pray or worship only because we have to, it is empty and meaningless. We know it and God knows it. If we come because of love, devotion, or even simple respect for who God is, it is different. Even if we don’t “feel” like it, we are willing to continue, because we know that God will bless our well-intentioned efforts. There’s an enormous difference. May we look forward to Jesus’ birth and see that He offers His life for all of us, whether we feel it or not. May we accept it and offer ourselves back to Him in love.

Genesis 4:1-16


About Karen May

Child of God, wife, mom, author, teacher, musician
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