A lot of people have stated that the reason God respected and blessed Able was because Able gave a blood sacrifice while Cain's was simply an offering of fruit and vegetables. Genesis chapter four illustrates both brothers' sacrifices, what they brought to God, but in that description Able's sacrifice is detailed. The Bible states, "But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock (Gen 44 NIV)." Another translation put it this way, "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof (Gen 4:4 KJV)." It is evident that Cain was simply performing a duty and Able's heart was beyond the duty, giving out of the very best that he had to give God.
But when God was standing there and talking to Cain and asking him about how he felt, he loved Cain just as much as he loved his brother. God asked Cain how he felt and then stated, "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 master it (Gen 4:6 NIV)." God was concerned for both Abel and Cain.
In this we have a clue. We might only think of our emotions when they are peaked at some point when they feel uncontrollable. Whether it is in anger, our fist clenched, our jaw set, and somebody is going to pay, or whether it is with the fluffy, I can tip toe across clouds, feeling that takes place between a man and a woman. God made us with emotions but discovering a purpose in them takes looking at the motivations of our hearts. Maybe that fluffy feeling we call love is about to lead us into having an affair or compromise our values.
Before the feelings is the attitude of our heart. Yet when we are at a place where it feels like our feelings our uncontrollable, where "sin is crouching at our doors desiring to have us," God is right there saying, "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?" We can listen; we can discover our intentions and change our course. We can believe that God not only has our best interest in mind, but also the best interest of the people in our lives. Otherwise we will have to live with the consequence, which often means that we lose a lot more then we could have ever imagined.
originally published on Helium here