Hiding behind Emotions
Cain and his jealousy: Genesis 4:1-15
What happens when we hide behind our emotions? When we allow our emotions to consume us, instead of actually facing them? Some of us may deal with this on a daily basis; carrying around a lot of anger and jealousy…can we just call it for what it could be? Holding a grudge maybe?
Cain was jealous of his brother Abel because God looked with much favor towards Abel’s offerings, not to mention Abel had nicer things (land, animals etc). Soon, Cain’s jealousy turned into anger.
As verse 5 records,
“But He (God) 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? ( NLT)
The word “dejected” means that Cain was depressed. In the NKJV version says “his countenance fell” meaning his face was literally facing towards the ground. There already, if you can notice, Cain tried to hide his face because he was upset. Today when something makes us mad, upset, or angry, majority of us will hide it, but it is not good to suppress our emotions. What happens when you squeeze a sponge with your hand? When you start to release your fist, the sponge takes its form back. Don’t ever “put away” your unresolved emotions where they can find you or worse where you can find them again. For me whenever I am upset about something, I like to talk it out or “vent” to someone I trust and that will look out for what I need to hear versus what I want to hear. However, everyone reacts differently, but whether you like to release the anger by exercising or sleeping it off, one thing remains; and that is the reason you are upset in the first place. Today we have many different reasons to stay occupied, but not a good enough reason to want to face the reality that our suppressed emotions may affect us more than we would like to acknowledge.
Sadly but true, people sometimes hide their emotions because they think no one would care. Sometimes people do not care about others in such a way to have a life changing conversation, and I pray that those that are reading this could change how they view someone else’s problems. It is possible you can be a person’s flash light to lead them in a peaceful path versus a self-destructing life. In another viewpoint, when we are upset we sometimes don’t want to talk to anybody. We choose to believe that nobody cares rather than becoming vulnerable and risk being hurt again. Similar attributes occur with other masked emotions such as pride, depression, and lust just to name a few which can all be linked to the one thing we do when our emotions are not in check. We hide it, and that’s what Cain was doing until finally the wall completely closed in all around him causing him to commit the 1st recorded murder in history. The sin that Cain did was not only wrong but the consequences (I believe) were much terrible, the separation from God. How is a person though, that wants promises fulfilled, freedom from their past, freedom from oppression of their skeletons in their closet…defeat sin? How is a person holding a grudge caused by their father, mother or someone else that hurt them or worse abused them…how are they suppose to defeat sin? How can they let that go?
We can only imagine the feeling Cain felt when God and his offering was rejected, that fueled his anger and became the tipping point to killing Abel. God didn’t accept Cain’s offering because it stemmed from jealousy. God’s love surpassed Cain’s murder. Verse 14 records Cain’s plea towards God…
“I will be hidden from your presence, I will be a restless wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me” (Vs.14). This meant that when he sinned he was cast out from God’s presence and he became vulnerable to attacks throughout the land.“Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him” (vs.15).This part right here is one of my favorites! If the enemy saw Cain walking down the road, it wasn’t his sin he saw, it was God’s mark on Cain, declaring Cain was protected by God! When you are in school, at your job, walking down the streets, people will see something different in you. Maybe you were once a drug addict but God put the mark on you, maybe you had anger issues but God put the mark on you, maybe you were abused and the enemy made you believe that nothing could cover the emotional scars, but I write to tell you that the blood of Jesus Christ is powerful enough not to just to cover but to remove any type of pain! This is the mark of God available today for your life and that is what people will see.
Before Cain killed Abel, God asked Cain, “Why are you so angry?” God knew of course why Cain was angry, but I believe he did it to start a conversation with Cain, to give him a chance to stop him from the sin he was going to do. God knows all that has happened to us and he is asking us: “Why are we angry? Why are we holding grudges? Why are we going through pains?” What is going on in your life that is keeping you away from receiving His ultimate and perfect peace? He is calling us out because He cares and wants a relationship with us. He wants you to give Him your burdens! He wants a relationship that gives peace over everything we try to hide. I know it’s sometimes hard to understand that God loves us in our darkest moments, but know that God wants us just as we are rather not having us at all, because it is God that shows us the way. How can we know the way if all we are, are nothing but lost in our past pains? God is for us, and He will always provide a way out to those that ask Him. God reached out to Cain, but Cain didn’t surrender to God for help so the sin took its course over his life. After the crime, Cain realized the consequences of his actions and did not want to be killed in the wilderness so he asked God to have mercy, and amazingly enough God did have mercy and protected Cain even when he was in exile.
It is never too late to receive the promise of God in your life. Your past does not define you. I repeat your past does not define you. It’s time to hand over the pains, regrets, and memories that keep replaying over and over again in your head. THEY DO NOT DEFINE YOU. Do not be afraid of giving up a painful past because you are afraid of what you might become without it. People all their lives don’t give up the things that are hurting them because they use it to justify their actions or because they think that is all they can be. I personally know people that would not let go of past hurts in order to continue holding on to a feeling that gives them the right to be angry rather feeling nothing at all and thinking that what happened to them was acceptable. But know that we cannot be our own judge and jury to the events that happened in our lives. Though we try to avoid those painful situations we must acknowledge that yes, it did happen, yes it did hurt, But NO! It is not permanent and it’s not your standing ground. There is true and perfect love that drives out all types of fear and pain, and there is a way towards peace. Right now God wants to speak into your heart and start the healing process. Do not try fooling yourself because physical scars heal quickly but the internal ones that you can’t see take more time.
As I am writing this I’m thinking and praying for those that read this post. I pray that you can allow Jesus Christ to show you how wonderful and gracious He is. I pray that God gives you peace in the name of Jesus over your past pains and hurts. And though for some the healing process isn’t quick and may take some time, it is still okay because the last time I checked crawling is still moving forward.
God Bless you and I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas, be mindful of the conversation you will hold this holiday whether it is with a stranger or a family member. Remember that encouragement goes a very long way!
If you need prayer please know that my wife and I are available to pray with you.
Peace and much love