Have you ever had to tell someone that you are sorry? Maybe your teacher or parent made you do it. Maybe you really meant what you said. Or maybe you didn’t and you only did it because you had to. Have you ever had a parent or teacher tell you to say sorry, “like you actually mean it?”
Adam and Eve had a perfect life in the Garden of Eden. But because they disobeyed God, they were far away from Him. Not just because they didn’t live in the Garden of Eden anymore. Because their hearts just weren’t connected to God the way they had been before sin came into the world.
God didn’t want Adam and Eve to be far away from Him. He wanted them to be close again. He gave people a way to be a part of His work on earth. People would bring something they really, really, really, really loved to God and offer it as a gift. They would tell Him how sorry they were for all the times they had disobeyed Him and He would forgive them.
God is always ready to forgive us when we come to Him with a humble heart. He made us, so He knows exactly what we are feeling on the inside, even when we are able to hide our feelings from other people.
When God made Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He told them He wanted humans to fill up the earth. He told them to start a family so humans could live everywhere. They had many sons and daughters, and their oldest two sons were Cain and Abel.
Originally, there were only two jobs: farmer or shepherd. There were no bankers, police officers, actors or teachers. Adam and Eve and their family needed food, clothing and shelter. Cain was a farmer, he grew plants. Abel was a shepherd; he took care of sheep. Both jobs were important, but sometimes people feel like someone else’s job is easier, or more admired by others, and feel jealousy.
Abel brought the best part of what he had to God for an offering, but Cain didn’t make his offering the way he was supposed to. When God corrected Cain, instead of fixing the problem he got mad. Really mad! He didn’t think it was fair that he got a correction and his brother didn’t. Cain went to Abel and attacked him.
Now he was in really big trouble with God. God knew what Cain had done, just like He knew that Cain’s heart was not in the right place when he made his offering. God asked Cain where his brother was. “What? Am I his babysitter?” Cain replied rudely. God told Cain He knew what had happened. Cain realized he had only made his first mistake worse by taking out his anger on his brother.
Have you ever gotten a correction from a parent or teacher and it made you feel mad? Did you take it personally and feel offended that they said you hadn’t done the right thing? When a teacher or parent gives you a correction, it doesn’t mean they are mad at you, or think you’re dumb or bad. It doesn’t even always mean that you’re in trouble. It just means that it’s their job to tell you how to do things, and it’s your job to follow with a good attitude. When we get a correction from God, or a parent or a teacher, we are supposed to just take the correction without talking back or getting mad. God wants us to always be willing to change when we need to. God wants us to have our hearts in the right place and to have a good attitude when we come to Him or anyone else to apologize.