1 Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.[b] She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth[c] a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so[e]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.
Comparison is the unseen battle that we all face. It’s become a reflex that we don’t even recognize until it’s already gotten a hold of us.
We constantly find ourselves comparing what we have, do, or own to those around us. If we’re not careful, we find ourselves being lead to a place of bitterness and defeat. We find ourselves on the opposite end of contentment and joy.
It’s easy to look at what somebody else is doing and think, “I can do this better”, but when we take on that mindset, we really mean, “I can do this bitter.” Or maybe, like Cain, we find ourselves giving the mediocre when God asks for the best. When we see somebody step up and give God their best, we really are doing our task bitter.
Cain likely spent his whole life watching his twin brother outshine him time and time again. He probably even found himself mumbling under his breath, “Abel, Abel, Abel,” and anger overcoming his mind. Rather than taking the opportunity to make things right with God and do as he was asked, Cain allowed his comparison with Abel to take hold in his heart and plant a seed of bitterness.
Every time he compared what he didn’t do to what Abel did do, that seed was watered with more bitterness. Soon his bitterness blossomed into an action he could never take back. We too can see the same thing happen to us if we’re not careful.
Cain’s comparison collided with his contentment.
You don’t see the fruit of contentment if you don’t plant a seed of contentment.
Abel saw God and lived content. He did as he was commanded. Cain saw Abel and lived bitter. He didn’t do as he was commanded, and when he saw God’s favor shown to Abel, he grew bitter.
In order to kill comparison in your life, you have to stop it from killing you. Abel provides the perfect example of a renewed perspective and a little faith. He trusted God and did as he was commanded and so was commended for his actions.
Comparison killed Cain’s spirit which resulted in Abel’s death. Abel killed comparison and found God’s favor.
How often do a let comparison plant a seed of bitterness in my heart?
Where do I find myself comparing myself to others the most?
When was the last time I refreshed my perspective and had a little faith?