Angry About a Haircut
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Genesis 4:8
I got angry at work recently. It was a slow day, and I was trying to leave a few minutes early for the only haircut appointment that I could get on my day off. Then, things got busy, causing me to miss my haircut appointment. It was my own fault for trying to leave early. I knew I wasn’t being reasonable, but still, I indulged in my anger, allowing it to fester. The silly thing is, I eventually got my haircut. But I didn’t let go of my frustration because it was never about the haircut. It was about my will being thwarted. So, when I got home, I was still in a dark mood.
My family wanted to take the boat out, but once we got going, we saw storm clouds gathering. I checked the radar and announced that the storm was going around us. My wife suggested that forecasts can be wrong, and that we should keep an eye on the sky. That’s not what I heard though. In my anger fueled thinking, I assumed evil intent. I heard her condescend to me, explaining that forecasts can’t actually see the future but rather just predict it. So, I responded with something snotty, like – Thank-you Captain Obvious. This is new information to me. I thought meteorologists could time travel. That’s not exactly what I said – I wasn’t that clever – but I was a jerk.
Why did I do that? Did I want to ruin the evening? No, of course not. The problem was that I’d indulged in my anger all day, and by the time I got home, I was intoxicated with it. Drunk with anger, I couldn’t control my behavior or my words, which poured out into my home life.
Though the consequences were a little more dramatic, this was Cain’s fate as well. In today’s passage, we’re told how Cain was angry with his brother, because God had accepted Abel’s sacrifice while rejecting Cain’s. God warned Cain that he must rule over evil or else it would rule over him. Cain didn’t listen though, and his mind was overthrown by his anger, driving him to murder his brother.
We may never kill anyone, but our anger poisons our minds nonetheless. Anger intoxicates us, causing us to say and do things that we don’t mean but can never take back. In our anger, we’re unreasonable but we can’t see it, and so we act like idiots – like terrible drunks. Anger is a drug, and when we indulge in it, we poison our minds, damaging our relationships with everyone around us, including those we love the most.