Genesis 4:4-6 – And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry?"
Being good Calvinists, Presbyterians are not really allowed to be angry, or, if allowed, we are not supposed to show it. Frederick Beuchner had his tongue in his cheek, I am sure, when he wrote:
- Of the seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontation still to come, to savour to the last toothsome morsel of both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back – in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.
What a wonderful image – consuming yourself with anger and hatred.
I have seen the skeletons, so I know it is possible to be consumed by anger and hatred and hostility, and the devastation is not just the self but often all those within striking distance as well.
Many are in danger of consuming themselves with the hidden anger that lurks just below the surface. The Bible invites us to bring it to God, and deal with the anger just waiting to consume us.
Prayer: Merciful God, look with mercy on us when anger threatens to rule our lives. Open for us a new and living way through Jesus Christ, and help us not to sin. Amen.