You may or may not be familiar with the Bible story of Cain and Abel. Let’s take a deeper look into this story and see how it may relate to our lives today and the topic of anger that comes up a lot in addiction treatment.
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Genesis 4:6-8 NIV
What proceeded this conversation between God and Cain was the fact that Cain did not give the proper offering to God and his brother Abel did. Has this ever occurred in your life? Perhaps a co-worker did a better job on a company project which resulted in you becoming angry or jealous, maybe even acting out on these feelings? Maybe even directing our anger toward God? Learning how to deal with these emotions during addiction treatment is crucial to recovery.
Now back to the interaction between God and Cain. God asked Cain why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? God then offered what I feel was some very wise Fatherly advice “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” God was basically warning Cain- if you do not get a handle on things disaster awaits you. Instead of hearing Gods warning, Cain completely disregards the advice and brings his brother into the field to kill him! A a result of doing the wrong thing to begin with which translated into self-righteous anger, Cain completely disregarded what God told him to do and the result is a tragic one - the first murder ever recorded.
What can we learn from this Bible passage? If we do what’s right and align our decisions with Gods will, we can avoid much anger and suffering. Learning what Gods will is and entering addiction treatment is going to offer one struggling with addiction a better life. Anger is a natural emotion however what we do with the anger and how we respond will make all the difference.
We learn from this passage in Ephesians not to let the sun go down while you are still angry. What does it mean? To resolve this conflict that day, do not let it go into the next day as it may go into the next week, month and year. It has been my experience that when we begin to apply God’s Biblical truths to our life things begin to change for the better.
The Apostle Paul writes this in Ephesians 4:26 NIV In your anger do not sin: "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."