• Scott Watkins

Don't Judge Me!

The story of Cain and Abel is told in the fourth chapter of the book of Genesis.

In the story, we read that Cain and Abel brought offerings to God. Cain’s offering was ‘some of the fruits of the soil’. Abel’s offering was ‘fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock’. Abel’s offering pleased God, but Cain’s did not.

In what we read, it’s implied that there was a right and wrong way to bring offerings, and that God instructed these men on how to do it properly. That being the case, Cain’s response illustrates a common human response to judgment.

‘Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.’

Cain did not follow God’s direction, yet when confronted, he became very angry.

How often do we respond similarly? How often do we hear the complaint, ‘Don’t judge me!’?

We choose to do our jobs, our parenting, our relationships, even our driving our own way. And this is our prerogative. But when we receive disapproval from others, we become angry. We expect understanding and acceptance.

We justify our decisions to do things our own way by saying we had good intentions, or that we tried hard, or we did it the way we thought made sense. Yet, the person on the receiving end isn’t cutting us any slack. So, we respond like Cain and become angry.

After God meets Cain with disapproval, Cain makes things worse. Rather than acknowledging his failure, he attacks Abel, as though he was the problem.

Here again, we can identify. Rather than own our shortcomings, we blame someone else to deflect our responsibility.

We have a choice to live according to others' expectations or go our own way. When we choose to go our own way, let’s not make the mistake that Cain did when we get an unfavorable response to our efforts. You can choose how you work and live, but don’t always expect others to approve of your actions.