Athlete, Stop Comparing

Read Genesis 4

How do Adam and Eve respond to God's promise to crush Satan and evil through Eve's offspring (3:15)?  Faith. Eve says, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man" (4:1).  Even after the horrific tragedy of one of their sons killing the other, she continues the difficult walk of faith, saying, "God has granted me another child in place of Abel" (4:25).  They understand these children to be the first installments of God's faithfulness to his promise, and just like us, their relationship with God is based on faith in God's promises, which are fulfilled in Jesus.

In 4:3-4, Cain brings a half-hearted offering to God, while Abel brings the first and best of the return on his labor.  Instead of turning from his sin to God, Cain allows his sin to spiral downward into envy and murder. His offspring produce some good things in the fields of music, metallurgy, etc., but at least in the seventh generation (4:23-24), it seems that the downward spiral never stopped, as Lamech boasts of murdering another man.

Questions for Reflection and Prayer

1. Are you basing your relationship with God today on anything besides faith in Jesus, who has covered our sin and shame, and conquered it in resurrection?

2. We can all relate to Cain's half-hearted worship.  Is there anything keeping you from worshipping and serving God with the first and best of your time, possessions, and gifting?  

3. Is there someone with whom you are comparing yourself right now, causing you to struggle with jealousy?  Take some time praise him for the reality that his love for you is not based on your own righteousness or your standing in comparison to others, but on the work of Jesus.  Ask him to fill you and enable you to worship him and live for him with your whole heart.

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