As I read through DMMCTT a couple weeks ago, I had to admit, finally, that I was becoming an angry mother.
These terms are far more comfortable to use, aren't they?
But we need to challenge ourselves to say things the way God says them. And according to His Word, I was often just plain ol' angry with my children--scolding them, disciplining them without spending the time required to train them properly, raising my voice, using a biting tone, desiring that they "suffer" for their behavior, and so on.
(All you people who are on a Keepin'-It-Real kick
should be loving this!)Anger: Case Study I Cain, Genesis 4
Cain & Abel, 2 brothers, each offered a sacrifice to the Lord. Abel's sacrifice pleased God; Cain's did not. The Scriptures aren't specific as to why this is--perhaps it was the mode of sacrifice, or maybe the motive behind it. Regardless, verse 5 tells us that "unto Cain and to his offering [God] had not respect."
And Cain got angry.
The Heart Issue
Cain was angry because someone else (Abel) got the respect and approval which he felt he deserved. Sound familiar? Cain's heart issue was envy. Evidently, Cain truly expected God to approve of his unacceptable offering... and then he became angry when God didn't! To make matters worse, Abel's offering was firmly stamped, "APPROVED!" Cain had to have known the requirements for sacrifice, and yet he still believed he could impress God with his false or incorrect worship. When his plans were foiled, he let his envy toward Abel fester and grow.
The (Attempt at) Resolution
What a merciful and gracious God we serve! God tried to draw out Cain's angry, envious heart in verses 6 & 7. He gave Cain the opportunity to right his wrong and try again. But Cain refused.
The Result of Envious Anger
What an unnecessarily tragic ending--only four chapters into the Scriptures, and we read of the first murder. Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. As a result, God placed a curse on Cain and his descendants. Proverbs 19:19 reads, "A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment..." And oh, how Cain suffered!
Oh Lord, give me the grace to overcome the stronghold of anger!