Siblings often fight and compete as children, and even adults. It may be over something as innocent as who gets the last cookie or as serious as who inherits their parents’ prized heirloom.
The competition Cain felt toward Abel—the world’s first siblings—reminds us that these family tensions can cause great damage to our relationships with one another, with parents, and even with God.
A Progressing Pattern of Jealousy
In the story of Cain and Abel, we find a progressing pattern of jealousy, which leads to hatred, which leads to murder. The result is not one but two lost sons for Adam and Eve.
God’s disregard of Cain’s offering stirred an intense jealousy and anger within Cain. Cain raged not only because his offering was rejected by God, but also because his brother’s offering was accepted by the Lord. Cain’s jealousy led him into a pit of misdirected hatred of Abel, ultimately leading him to murder his brother. The consequence of sin—death—that God had warned Adam and Eve about had come to fruition.
Jealousy never produces anything godly in us. And why is that? It’s primarily because jealousy is nothing more than proof that we have staked our identity on what we have done or can do, rather than on what God has done for us through Christ.
Finding Our Identity in Christ
When you are tempted to compare yourself to others, let that trigger a reminder of who you are in Christ.
Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” As a child of God, our identity is not dependent upon what we do, but instead upon what Christ has done to save us through His life, death, and resurrection. Rather than living in the comparison between ourselves and others, let’s live in the confidence that we have been made new. In Christ, we are fully loved and accepted.
Fight the temptation to compare. Fight the urge to compete with others before God. And trust in the finished work of Christ. For you are not your own; you were bought with a price. And that price is one you could never repay.
Tips for Teaching this Week’s Session
Every week, members of The Gospel Project for Kids team offer guidance to help you as you prepare to teach every session to preschoolers and kids. Listen in as we discuss:
- The big idea of the session
- Any areas of caution or requiring additional prep time
- What we hope God will do through this session
This training is available on Ministry Grid, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.