Genesis 4:1-15, 25
Psalm 50:1, 8, 16-17, 20-21
Sin is a demon lurking at the door. (Genesis 4:7)
If you have children, the following scenario is probably familiar: one child receives a shiny new toy for her birthday and is completely absorbed with it. Meanwhile, another child decides to grab the toy for himself. You hear “Let me have it!” followed by “That’s mine!” All because of a toy!
It’s this kind of jealousy that is at work in the story of Cain and Abel. Cain feels slighted because Abel is enjoying God’s favor, while he is not. But is that really the case? We’re not told that God is against Cain, only that his sacrifice was not accepted this time. On the contrary, God is very good to Cain. Not only does he warn him about the dangers of jealousy and resentment; he also treats him with great mercy after Abel’s death (Genesis 4:15).
We all know what jealousy feels like. Even if we’re not prone to it, we know it from the temptation that is common to all of us. In our competitive world, there are plenty of opportunities to get beat out at something. It could be something as major as getting hired for a job, or as minor as getting cut off in traffic. The size of the temptation is not as important as our response. We can choose to feel resentful, or we can relax, knowing that God will give us everything we need, even if it’s not what we had in mind.
The best way to counter jealousy, or any kind of discontent, is to give thanks for what you already have: the love of Jesus. Nothing, no one, can take that away from you! If you spend just ten minutes each day praising and thanking God for his love and blessings, you’ll find your outlook changing. And if you make thanksgiving your way of life, you’ll be in even better shape. Setbacks and frustration won’t find a home in you. For no matter what you have or don’t have, you are a child of God, and in him, you have everything!
“Jesus, thank you for your love, which is the most valuable gift of all! Thank you for never failing me, even when I’ve failed you. Your grace is all that I will ever need.”~WAU