The Right to Choose

So the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.’”—Genesis 4:6-7 (NKJV)

Recently, while driving, I realized the person in the vehicle behind me thought I was driving too slowly. I could see in my rearview mirror that she was gesturing and saying things that revealed her unhappiness with my driving ability. I confess that her reaction pushed my buttons. I was angry, and I was tempted to show her just how wrong she was!

Stories of road rage occur daily, and many of them start with minor incidents like the one I described. Are you an angry person? Do you allow anger to rule your heart? Consider this: Anger is a God-given emotion that can be righteous or unrighteous. God gives us the choice to respond to anger properly or destructively. One brings life to relationships, the other death.

In Genesis 4, two brothers offered sacrifices to the Lord. God accepted Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. The Bible doesn’t tell us why Cain’s was not accepted, but regardless, here are a few things to consider:

1.    The Lord offers help. God reached out and offered counsel to Cain. Cain heard the Lord and had to choose his response. He could have listened, asked for help and forgiveness, and then obeyed. Instead, he chose to be consumed with anger. 

2.    The Lord warns us. Man’s sin nature, ungodly worldly influence, and the devil are all lying at the door of your life desiring to destroy you. The Lord warns us in James 4:7 (NKJV), “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” And 1 Peter 5: 8-9 (NKJV) says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him . . .”

3.    Victory is promised. Yes, we are weak. In fact, Jesus said without Him we can do nothing. He wants your heart, your whole heart. He wants to be your Master so He can be Lord over your life to help you with the temptations and challenges you face.

When you are tempted to sin, you have a choice to make. The Lord is with you. Call out to Him, give Him your burden, and peace and freedom will be your reward. Remember, your choice will bring life or death.

DIG: Are you angry with someone today? Can you pinpoint the cause?

DISCOVER: Read Ephesians 4:30-32 and 1 Peter 8-10. How does the Lord want to help you?

DO: As it says in Galatians 5:16, walk in the Spirit and do not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Be continuously filled with His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

About the Author

Jeff Seward