Genesis 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
We do so many things today and make important decisions based on our emotions or feelings. Some trust their feelings to decide their commitments, their purchases, and direction they should take in their life. “I felt a little discouraged so I stayed at home.” “I felt good about buying that 54 inch flat screen TV.” I felt like it was time for me to move on.”
Others determine their responses in relationships based on how they feel. “I felt like giving him a piece of my mind so I did.” “I felt like I needed a change, so goodbye.” “I’m just not happy, maybe we should think about splitting up for awhile.”
Some even bring God into the discussion to validate their feelings. “I felt like the Lord didn’t want me to reconcile the situation but just to move on.” “I felt like the Lord didn’t want me to go to Church anymore.” “I felt like the Lord said it was OK if we made love before we got married to see if we were compatible.”
Cain is an example of how responding to our negative feelings can have a long term impact on our life. When God didn’t receive Cain’s offering it says he “became very angry and his countenance fell Genesis 4:5.” God then gave him the wisdom he needed to walk out and a warning if he continued going in the direction he was going in Genesis 4:7, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
Cain could do well and obey God and his countenance could be lifted or he could continue with his stirred feelings and anger which would cause him to be controlled by sin waiting at the door. Cain followed his feelings, took out his anger on his brother Abel ending his life, and ruined his own life.
As Christians forgiveness for those who hurt us leads to life and it is possible because the love of God is poured forth in our hearts (Romans 5:5). Instead of having our lives ruined and marked by following negative feelings of rage or anger we can learn to walk in forgiveness and have a life marked by joy and peace. Negative emotions are only temporary states of mind but acting through them and doing something foolish can mark our lives forever.
Our past can be a place of reference not residence and we do not have to live there or allow the negative things that happen to us to mark how we live.