All or Nothing

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the  firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.  So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Genesis 4:2b-5

Do you see the difference between Cain and Abel? Abel easily gave exactly what God wanted because he did not worship possessions but rather God, but Cain gave up what he (Cain) wanted to give up and kept back what he thought would be good for his pocketbook. Again, many of us have what I call the Cain Syndrome; that is, we give to God what we want to give, something worthless to you— something perhaps that would not matter anyway—but it is not what God asked for.

We get angry at God for asking us to sacrifice the thing we love. Moreover, just as Cain did, we get angry at God for not being happy with what we decided to give Him. For example, many people say, “Well, I gave God my breakfast this morning.” But actually, they did not want breakfast anyway. However, when the afternoon snack comes by, they are not about to give that up, even if they are not hungry! Your sacrifice may be that you cut your food in half—but there is a chance that you might eat both halves. But those who choose their sacrifice are dumbfounded that they have not lost weight.

The Cain Syndrome is evident in many marriages, too. For example, a husband may agree to please his wife with a date but then considers his own preferences—not those of his wife—in making plans for the evening.

A wife may cook a wonderful meal, supposedly to please her husband, but be unwilling to submit to his intimate wants. Just like Cain, she is angry at the husband’s ungrateful attitude for the sacrifice she decided to make for him.

If an army officer complied with 9 out of 10 orders, would you say he was obedient? After all, 90 percent of his senior officer’s requirements were met. The answer is no. The nine orders completed were just those that came naturally anyway—sacrifices of convenience. Not obeying 1 out of the 10 commands reveals your will over the authority and perhaps that you have a better idea.

 

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