genesis 4: progression

Progression. That’s what most caught my eye from this chapter.

Cain’s pride got hurt. That progressed to jealousy. Then anger, and finally, murder.

In my younger years I dealt with anger that progressed to rage, and then went on to hatred. During the healing process of all that anger, I realized that I hadn’t just woke up one day full of anger. It developed over years of being in a broken marriage, of being offended, having my feelings hurt and my pride wounded.

I didn’t know how to process my hurt feelings with God, how to reject lies and embrace truth, or how to respond in the Spirit to someone who was hurting my soul.

I didn’t know that sin was crouching at my door, and I didn’t know that I could master it. My feelings were hurt and that made me mad. That’s all I knew.

But what if I had known? What if Cain had known that if he didn’t deal with his pride it was going to take him down? What if I had understood that when my feelings got hurt, it was my pride that was stinging more than anything else, and what if I had chosen humility in response?

What if Cain had listened to God’s rebuke and what if I had listened when God said not to let the sun go down on my anger? What if I hadn’t let 20 years of suns go down with me still ticked off at something or someone?

What if I had chosen love over striking back, or forgiveness instead of punishment? What if I had seen the progression before the anger became rage and the rage became hatred?

The air is sweet atop a high horse, looking down at Cain and his murderous self. It gets a little bitter when you’re looking at him eye to eye.

And yet, I am blessed. Because God stepped into the pit I was in and pulled me out. Taught me how to deal with offense, how to love when I’m hurt, how to keep one eye on my pride at all times, and for the love of pete, how to repent. He healed my wounds and restored a marriage that two people had killed in a most brutal fashion. He stopped a progression that was just too strong for both of us.

Anger to murder. Lust to adultery. Gossip to slander. Disobedience to rebellion. Discontent to ungrateful. Fornication to abortion. Progression.

Questions:

  • How have I seen the progression of sin in other areas of my life?
  • How am I seeing the progression of sin in the culture around me?
  • What am I willing to do to stop the progression of sin in my own life, and in my culture?

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