Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Problem with Festering

Cain forced a smile at his brother. Abel studied him for a moment, seemingly hesitant, but then nodded. "Okay, I'll help you in the field."

Cain smiled at him again, and mentally slapped himself. Abel was going to suspect something if he didn't cut it out with the awkward smiles. Together the brothers walked side by side to the field they had worked in for all their lives. So much time spent here..

Cain was starting to panic, but why was he panicking? They were just going out to the field to work.

But somewhere in his heart he knew he wasn't just going out there to work. He could still hear the Lord's words to him,  "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. It's desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

"What seems to be the problem?"

The question brought Cain back to reality, to this present moment. "Uh, there's a stump. It's deep. I can't take it out myself."

"Are you okay?"

"What? Why?" He looked at Abel nervously.

"You haven't been acting normal since the offering."

"I'm fine." He felt like his offering was dirt compared to the Golden Boy's offering, but whatever. He would keep acting like he was fine.

Soon they came to the field. The sun was high in the dark blue sky. It lit up the tan-colored crop like a blazing fire. The two men stepped into the field, and Cain inhaled deeply. This was home to him. This field was where he worked and toiled. He gritted his teeth, pain radiating from his clenched jaw. It wasn't his fault that stupid Abel had ended up working with the animals.

"Where's the stump?"

"It's over there," Cain replied sharply. He knew why he was here. To get revenge. It was all he could think about. He needed it, craved it, and wouldn't be satisfied until he had taken it. His anger had been his focus. All he did was sit and stew.

After today, he wouldn't need to anymore.

As Abel studied the stump, Cain quietly bent down, and coiled his fingers around a sharp rock.

Based on Genesis 4:3-8

"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil." Ephesians 4:26-27

Point Number 2: Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

So, we looked at how to be angry and not sin last time. Ephesians also said not to let the sun go down on your anger. This is the hard part. This means that we don't hold a grudge. If we hold a grudge against every person who sins, then who's left?

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

If one of those money-grubbing thieves from the temple had come to Jesus afterwards, sincerely repenting, then you know that Jesus would have forgiven him just like that. Zacchaeus and Matthew were both tax collectors, and Jesus loved them. Take it one step further, and now you have to be nice to that person and treat them like family in Christ.


So. Not. Easy. But just like Jesus told the disciples to shake off the cities that didn't welcome the Gospel, so we need to shake off the things that people do to hurt us. There have been moments in all of our lives where someone has seriously hurt us. The disciples literally abandoned Jesus, but He still loved them. He didn't hold it against them. He forgave them. Peter, who denied Jesus, and who went on to become a significant leader in the early church.

"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil." Ephesians 4:26-27

God wouldn't have told us all this if it wasn't possible. We need to forgive and forget just like God has done for us. We can't hold grudges because that's when the devil sneaks into the back door of our hearts, and lights up the path to sin for us. I wrote about Cain and Abel earlier because that's exactly what happened. Whether your hurt is completely justified or a little overdone, if you fester on that anger, eventually it will consume you whole. One day all that will be left is a revenge-seeking lunatic. Revenge isn't ours to dish out, and when we focus on anger that's where we go. Jesus and God, well, they throw things as far as the east is from the west. If we are going to live lives modeled after Them, then we need to do the same. Festering does not free us; only forgiveness does.

V. Joy Palmer


  1. Thank you, that was very insightful, I printed it, and will use it as directed not only to me, yet to oter Brothers' sisters festering, thank you

  2. Thank you for the kind words! God bless you!
    -V. Joy Palmer

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