Emotions often end up controlling us. In and of themselves, they are not bad. In fact, our emotions are God-given, and are given because God Himself has emotions and created us in His image.
The problem is that our emotions can overtake us and steer us places we shouldn’t go. One person we have as an example in Scripture is Cain. Cain is the son of Adam and Eve. We find his story in Genesis 4.
Cain and his brother Abel grow up. We find them both worshiping God. God is pleased with Abel’s sacrifice, but not with Cain’s. I am not positive why God rejected Cain’s sacrifice altogether, but I know why He accepted Abel’s. Abel’s sacrifice was in faith. Abel brought his first and best to God. So potentially Cain’s offering was not brought in faith, and he didn’t bring God his first and best.
What we do know is Cain’s heart was not in the right spot, which may have been the major issue. God confronts Cain, and tells him to bring the right offering. Cain becomes angry. His face becomes distorted and he’s so upset. God tells Him, “watch out” or the sin of your heart will take over your actions.
Cain refuses to listen. His sin and anger take over. He lashes out and kills his brother Abel. We are not different from Cain. We have a human sin nature like him. So how do we avoid sin overtaking and crushing us?
We need to confess and repent when we are convicted. God points out Cain’s sin, but he does not confess and repent or turn from his sin. This is where we can learn from Cain. Often Christians come to church and find joy when they are being commended. There is nothing wrong with this, and in fact this should be done. Hebrews 11, where Abel is commended for having faith, is called the “hall of faith” and is full of people being recognized for their faith.
The problem becomes when we hear something that we don’t want to hear. When we are confronted with something that we don’t want to change. If we start developing the heart of Cain, we better watch out. If we hear about our sin and don’t want to confess and repent, there is a problem.
Like Cain, if we become angry instead of repentant, we will kill things also. It may not be murder, but it will be a form of it. We may kill a relationship with the person or church who confronted us. We may kill opportunities to overcome a sin. There are lots of parallels between what Cain killed and what we can kill.
How do we know we are developing such a heart? Like Cain, we ignore, get annoyed, or get angry with what we hear. We are mad that the pastor would bring something like that up. We are upset with the friend who would point out our sin. These are the signs that we are developing a heart of Cain. The heart that instead of following God, turns from God, and ends up destroying themselves and others.
How is your heart? How do you react when you hear about sin in your life? Do you feel shame, and confess and repent of it? Or, do you ignore what you hear? Do you become annoyed at the person who said it or maybe even angry? Avoid the heart of Cain.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.