Friday, October 08, 2010

Lessons from Cain and Abel

Do you remember that question often asked by grade school teachers? It was usually, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I don't remember a follow-up question at the time, but a good one would have been, "What are you doing to make that happen?" Those who want to become professional athletes must discipline their minds and bodies to have any hint of success. Those who want to be a medical doctor must successfully complete years of training before they are allowed to treat patients. The point is that what happens in the future is a result of the choices we are making in the present.

The same can be said of our character. The choices we make each day will affect the way that we act and think. Good choices will result in good character, while bad choices will result in bad character. In Genesis 4:1-16, the story of Cain and Abel shows us how two young men made completely opposite choices and how that affected their lives and the lives of others. As you read the passage, consider how your own choices will affect yourself and those around you.

1. How can you become like Cain?

a. Deny the seriousness of your sinfulness.
b. Take care of your sin your own way.
c. Become angry with God's response.
d. Hate those who are trying to please God.
e. Deny responsibility for your actions.
f. Complain about the punishment God gives you.

2. How can you become like Abel?

a. Recognize the seriousness of your own sinfulness.
b. Take care of your sin God's way.
c. Rejoice about God's response.
d. Love your enemies.
e. Accept responsibility for your own actions.
f. Thank God for his forgiveness.

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