Thursday, June 9, 2016

Anger in Control {Anger Series}


I think sometimes we don’t realize the power anger has over us. It comes on quick, but it also builds over time. It has the ability to move us to help others when we see injustice, but it also has the potential to overcome us in very negative ways.

Anger, when left unchecked, can control everything we do from how we think and speak, to how we act and react.

If we let it, anger can become the operating system behind everything we do. {Tweet this}

As I’ve been thinking about this topic of anger, I decided to go back to the beginning—to the story of Cain and Abel. 
When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.
 “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.”
 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. Genesis 4:2b-8 NLT
Very little is said about their lives until this incident. We don’t know the family dynamic or how they got along as brothers. All we know is God didn’t accept Cain’s offering and it made Cain very angry.

It’s the Lord’s response that I don’t remember in the childhood stories about Cain and Abel. God doesn’t sound angry, but He does warn Cain of what can happen if he doesn’t get in control of his anger.

Anger was at the door, eager to control Cain. And it’s still at the door…eager to control you and me.

We don’t have a time frame, but it appears it didn’t take Cain long to cross from being angry to becoming a murderer. Or maybe some time did elapse and Cain let that anger boil in his heart waiting to explode.

Either way, Cain didn’t have control over his feelings. Anger had control of him.

It’s frightening to think how quickly an emotion can drive us to sinful behavior. We hold on to anger waiting for the right time to retaliate, when what we need to do is confess our anger and resist it’s hold over us.

It’s not easy, I know.

Romans 6:12 says…
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Romans 6:12 NLT
We could rephrase it this way…

Do not let anger control the way you live; do not give in to angry desires.

Or…don’t let anger control you the way it controlled Cain.

God’s Word always gives us direction in the way we should and shouldn’t live. He knows the human condition and how emotions have the ability to control us. So, like He did with Cain, God warns us of what can happen when we let anger have control over us…and it’s not good. It’s never good.

What are your thoughts on the story of Cain and Abel?

In Christ,
Laura 

5 comments:

  1. Anger is a beast! I will never forget when I read Psalms 4:4 for the first time. It's moment of impact will never leave me. God bless and thank you for posting. I'm your neighbor over at 3-DLessons.

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  2. So True Laura! Anger is very sneaky and it usually builds up over time. Whether from hurt, resentment, or maybe bitterness that has gone unrepented. I ask the Lord to give me peace in my heart to combat those feelings. Wrapping those feelings in the cocoon of his love can help keep anger from showing itself and ruining my testimony for Christ! Thanks for sharing such a thought provoking post. Such a pleasure to visit here today. Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and yours!

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  3. Anger is stealthy - one day it's a happenstance and suddenly its patterned behavior - regardless of the right or reason. For me, I have to intentionally turn off that spout. Sometimes it's a hard choice - but when I make that choice to drop the anger, it changes everything in a grace way! Good writing and reminder, Laura!
    ~Maryleigh

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  4. I'm always surprised at how anger can sneak up on me. But I shouldn't be. "Anger was at the door, eager to control Cain. And it’s still at the door…eager to control you and me." Thanks, Laura, for the encouragement to let God control our minds instead of our emotions.

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  5. I have to admit, I didn't understand for a long time why God rejected Cain. And felt a little sorry for the guy. After doing some studies on Genesis, I came to understand his heart issue and more on my own heart issues. Anger can be a beast to tame.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!