Once upon a time, there was a woman named Eve and a man named Adam. They were each given a great task to accomplish…to populate the earth. So Eve gave birth to their first two sons, who they named Abel and Cain. Abel grew up to be a shepherd, which was a highly revered profession. Cain grew up to be a farmer, which was also an important occupation to have.
During those days, God required an offering to be given in honor of His goodness to man. God allowed the crops to grow, which Cain harvested, and the flocks, which Abel cared for, to multiply and the animals to yield useful wool, dung and meat. Each of these young men had an important roll in providing for not only the human race, but also in proving the kindness and glory of God.
One day, when it came time to offer up the best of the best of their “inventory” something tragic happened. You see, this was where we see the beginning of a major human flaw…the desire for validation. Abel offered the firstlings of his flock to God and He was pleased, God respected Abel for doing what he was asked of and for doing it properly. Being a shepherd and all, he was expected to be the best of the best and thus must perform his duty properly. I would liken it to being someone who holds a place in office who has great power to make or break a nation. He knows his flock individually, he cares for each one like a mother cares for her child and he protects them from danger with his very life if necessary.
Cain, the farmer, probably wasn’t as highly revered by his family. He was probably like the “middle child”, always seeking the approval and praise that his brother got from everyone. You see, those who aren’t farmers probably had the tendency to look at Cain and say, “What did you do? You planted a couple seeds, maybe did a little weeding and then sat back and watched the grass grow. You didn’t really do any work until it came time to harvest everything that GOD grew.” It kind of makes you want to sympathize when him, doesn’t it? Cain was probably so consumed with the desire for validation that he half-heartedly prepared his offering to God. Because of his failed attempt and pitiful offering “of the fruit of the ground,” God did not give him the respect he craved for his efforts, which left Cain feeling very angry and jealous.
Now, the story doesn’t end there, but there was a major turn of events that happened as a result of Cain. Have you ever found yourself struggling to get your point across? Craving validation for the work you have done or for your feelings? Wanting so much for your very existence and everything that you are to be counted as “worthy?” I know I do. A lot of times this desire for validation is taken as me being selfish or always wanting to be right or have my way. It causes my judgment to become clouded and I get angry and frustrated. However, sometimes, I just want a “pat on the back” and encouragement. Most of us do.
In the day and age of “like” buttons, we have become so consumed with the thought that if we don’t rack up a certain number of “likes,” then we aren’t counted as worth much. That our very existence doesn’t mean anything to anyone. So we start to loosen the belt on our morals. We try to appeal to the masses, just throwing anything and everything out to the universe in hopes that it will yield a bountiful “approval.” We crave validation. Not necessarily to be the one that is right all the time, but for us and our thoughts, feelings, ideas and actions to be counted as worth their weight.
The problem is, when we become so self absorbed in our search for validation, we often times forget who the true credit belongs to. We seek approval from the wrong persons. We become discouraged and depressed and desperate that we don’t give it our all. We begin doing things half heartedly or we try to find the quickest way to complete a task in order to get the “likes” as soon as possible. Ever hear of the 3 little pigs? If not, then spoiler alert*, the pig that took the longest to build his house with bricks….he got the greatest reward. He had a house that stood through high winds and it protected him from the predators that lurked about, seeking to devour him.
Much like the 3 little pigs….if we don’t gain our strength and guidance from God, the storms will destroy us and our homes. Our desire to get something done fast and half heartedly so that we can move on to the “fun” and collecting “likes,” will leave us caught off guard and unprotected. As it is said, evil (Satan) prowls the earth like a hungry lion, seeking the ruin and destruction of men.
God wants us to give him the best of ourselves because He is the one who has given us ALL. There is nothing that we can accomplish and do well without His aid. The very fact that you are alive to attempt anything is all due to God. So, seek the approval of God and you’ll find that He has already given it….You’re alive. He approves His creation.
Now to get down to the nitty gritty. What am I going to do with that knowledge the next time I want to be validated? Will I push my opinions on others until I get the validation I’m craving? Or will I turn my longings of the heart over to the care of God and thank him for another day and for His many blessings?Tags: creation, Credit, Depression, Glory, God, Praise, Satan, sin, Validation
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