I love to cook and bake for other people, and I love having people come stay at my house. What I don’t love is the clean up. There’s something about hosting a party in this crazy old farmhouse that is just tons of fun, and I try to do it as often as my schedule allows. But when I can’t have people out, I still like to bake things to bring to work or to other events. But when it comes to cleaning up my kitchen after I bake, I tend to drag my feet.
I don’t have a dishwasher. That could be a contributing factor. But generally speaking, I just don’t like doing dishes. So I let them pile up.
The verses for today are Genesis 4:6-7.
“Why are you so angry?” the LORD asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
All humans are psycho. Let’s just get that out in the open. If you’re a human being, you’re insane. It’s part of our flawed character. Everyone has this issue where we do the things we know are wrong and then we wonder why we get in trouble. Doesn’t matter how minor the wrong thing was, we are still surprised (or defensive) when someone catches us in the act. And the only explanation I can think of for that is that we’re all screwed up.
This is what happened to Cain. Cain and his younger brother Abel knew how to present a sacrifice to God. Their father had done it, and they had grown up knowing what God expected. Abel did it right; Cain thought his way was better. So Cain did it his own way, and God didn’t accept it. But notice that God didn’t reject Cain; just his offering. God gently explained what went wrong.
If Cain had been wiser, he would have listened. But those who know the story know he wasn’t much of a listener.
For me, doing the dishes is right. It’s my house. I made the mess. So it’s my responsibility to clean up. I could just leave them (and from this photo, obviously, that’s what I did), but then I wouldn’t have any dishes to eat my lunch on. And I wouldn’t have any pots and pans to bake with. Would it make sense for me to get angry because I don’t have dishes to eat on? If I did, it would be my own fault.
Just like when we get a speeding ticket. We’re speeding. We’re breaking the law. Why are we surprised when we get pulled over? Why are we angry at law enforcement when we are the ones who were doing what was wrong?
God has created all of us with a conscience. We know what’s right. We know what’s wrong. And we have a choice between which one to do. So what does it mean when know what’s right and we refuse to do it?
In Cain’s story, he let his own desires and his own rage dictate his actions instead of doing what he knew was right, and he killed his younger brother. With my dishes, obviously, I’m not going to kill anyone. If nothing else, it will mainly be a reflection on my own poor skills as a housekeeper. But for us to know what is right and refuse to do it indicates deeper issues. With Cain it was pride. With my dishes, it’s laziness. I know doing my dishes is the right thing to do, but it takes a lot of effort. And it’s easier to just let them sit. But it’s not right.
And if I let my dishes sit, even though I know it’s wrong, how much longer will it be before I let other things in my life sit too?
If you know what’s right and refuse to do it, watch out! That’s what this verse says. If you’re rationalizing why you don’t have to do what’s right, be so careful. Because that is the first step to allowing sin to control you. And that’s not how we were designed to live. And if you are a follower of Christ, you don’t have to be controlled by your sin.
If I just do my dishes right away, I always get done faster than I expect. But when I leave them sit, I have to scrub on them because everything dries up.
Doing what’s right will take effort. That’s true. And doing what’s wrong seems easy at first, but the consequences take more effort to deal with than doing the right thing straight off.