Master Your Anger
Today's Reading: Genesis 4-6; Matthew 2
So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." Genesis 4:6-7
The classic story of Cain and Abel unfolds in Genesis chapter four. Two brothers (from the real first family) each presented the Lord with their offerings. Cain offered the Lord fruit and Abel offered a first-born from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel's offering but rejected Cain's. Cain became angry and jealous of his brother's favor with the Lord. Today's verses give us insight as to how the Lord responded to Cain's anger. In essence, He warned Cain to be careful because sin was lying in wait for him. The Lord was giving Cain a choice to let it go, try again and be accepted, or to give in and allow sin to control him. Cain chose the latter option, which resulted in him killing his brother Abel and running from the Lord for the rest of his life. Sin did come to control him as the Lord warned!
Has anger ever led you to do things you would later regret? Has jealousy or envy stirred you to the point of sinning against someone close to you? These sins will eventually lead to destruction, unless we stop them from taking control of us. We must all take notice of the Lord's advice and beware of the sin that lies at our door. Sin leads to death if left to its own desires. If we allow sin to rule over us, then our actions will result in serious consequences. The Lord gives us this warning as a reminder that we "should rule over it." As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit who will make us aware of these dangers and will lead us away from dangerous temptations. He will help us to “rule over sin.”
No one is immune to the emotions involving jealousy, envy or covetousness. But even if we are tempted with them, we do not have to be ruled or mastered by them. When we find ourselves in a situation that stirs these types of feelings or thoughts, we must start praying immediately. We must confess our thoughts to the Lord and be honest with Him, then ask Him to help us to let go of them. When we turn those things over to the Lord, He will give us the strength through His Spirit to turn the tables and rule over them. Left on its own, sin destroys. Do not give in to its desires. Listen to the Lord and let Him be your Master.