What can we learn from the story of Cain and Abel? It can be summed up in one verse:
"If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master" (Genesis 4:7).
I have just finished reading the story of the Fall, and a demon (the serpent) was certainly lurking at the door; however, we are called to resist all temptations. Blaming the serpent is not a sufficient excuse for God. With God, we can overcome evil; with God, we take responsibility for our sins. We can receive forgiveness if we are truly repentant. Life is a battle, but we know that Christ has overcome the world. John writes,
"If we say, 'We are without sin,' we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, 'We have not sinned,' we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:8-10).
Abel's blood is a dark mark on human history, but Christ's blood saves us and gives us hope. Since God is a God of second chances, we can approach Him with confidence. We have a new year before us. Let us focus on overcoming our weaknesses. With God alone is this possible.