Gen 4:6-7 – The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” ESV
The sad story of Cain has a significant impact for us in Christian recovery, if we allow it. Cain was the first man ever born, he was the first son for Adam and Eve and he was the first murderer, when he killed his little brother Abel. What we may not see in the story of Cain is that he was the first person recorded to have what gamblers call a “tell.”
A “tell” is a behavior that a person can be relied on to consistently do in certain stressed circumstances. In poker it is an unconscious action that is thought to betray an attempted deception. In our language a tell is a lie.
Cain’s tell is found in Gen 4:5 – Cain was very angry, and his face fell. (ESV) He got angry and he exhibited a fallen or downcast expression. Right after this he tricked Abel into going with him to the fields, and murdered him.
One of the great deceptions or denials that an addict lives in is that they really believe that others cannot see when they are lying. For all of us in recovery, Christian or not, we need to come to terms with the truth that we have tells. We are using the plural here because it is likely that we have more than one.
Do you know what your tell or tells are? Because others around you, those that know you well, can probably point them out.