Time passed. Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.
-Genesis 4:3-5 (MSG)

A rather simple story: Two men bring an offering to God. One man, Cain, brings some of his produce. The other, Abel, brings the best meat he has. God likes what Abel gives; not so much what Cain gives. So it begs the question: What’s the difference between the two offerings?

I think it comes down to one word: sacrifice. Did Cain give God an offering when he could have given nothing at all? Sure. But did he give God the best of what he had like his brother Abel did? Nope, apparently not. In the end, Cain’s produce might have even been more valuable monetarily than Abel’s meat. But the value amount didn’t matter to God; the sacrifice amount did.

I’ve heard this story used a lot when talking about tithing, which makes sense. But I think it goes so far beyond that. As a Christian, am I giving God just enough to get by, or am I giving him my best in everything? My best in finances, time, and talents?

That relates specifically to my goal of reading through the Bible as well. I can just do it to do it, giving God a little bit of my time and completing the task only to get the monkey off my back. Or, I can do it with a heart like Abel’s, knowing that the sacrifice of giving my best is part of the offering, possibly more important than the offering itself.

God, here’s my filet mignon.