“When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift - the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.”

- Genesis 4:3-5

Through these verses, we can learn the difference of how one's relationship with God is shown through actions, and what these actions mean. Although both brothers gave gifts to the Lord, Cain chose to just give some of his crops. What is absent was the act of joyful giving in recognition that God created everything and he deserves the best given that what we have, we owe to God anyway. In contrast, Abel was not hesitant to give the best part of the very first lambs from his flock. Giving to God was not an afterthought, but a gesture of thanksgiving.

This applies to our every day life as well in our relationship with God. Do we joyfully give the best energy and best time of day to worship God? Or do we just do a few moments of prayer and worship here and there, when we have time and when we remember? Do we tend to push God aside when we are busy? Do we tithe willingly giving first to honour God, knowing that what we have we have the Lord to thank? Or are we looking at our own interests first?

One can also take this lesson to our relationships with others. When we say we love others, are we keeping in mind what their needs are and giving them our best, or are we looking out for ourselves?

Reflection: When it comes to giving, are you Cain or are you Abel?

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Thank you, Karyn Lau, for this Bible study article on Calm Christian Music. Enjoy beautiful Christian instrumental music channels, listen to Christian worship music, Christian psalms and hymns, Old and New Testament Bible audiobooks on calmchristian.com. As you reflect on the nature of true giving, learn about the effects of office noise and enjoy all soothing devotional music on Calm Christian.