In the study of outer space, there is a phenomenon known as a black hole. It’s invisible to the eye and identified only by it’s strong gravitational pull, acting as a vacuum, absorbing everything that comes near it. Because of the incredible gravitational pull inward, nothing that enters a black hole comes out.
As we are going and growing on our faith journey, we need to be aware of spiritual black holes. These are activities, attitudes, and behaviors that have a devasting effect on us, our relationship with others, and with God.
We must identify and learn to avoid them at all costs before they pull us in.
1 Corinthians 10:23 warns us how, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
1 Corinthians 10 lends us a principle that shows how even when some things may be acceptable for us to do, there is a danger associated with participation.
I’ve learned the hard way, and I’m still learning, how some arguments are not worth losing my peace and joy nor fracturing my relationships over.
In Genesis 4, we are introduced to Cain and Abel, the two sons of Adam and Eve. We have no backstory leading up to Cain and Abel’s introduction, but verses 3-4 says that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock.
We are told that God has regard for Abel’s offering but had no regard for Cain’s. The word “regard” in the Hebrew language means to look at, inferring acceptance.
So why did God accept Abel’s offering but not Cain’s? Cain bought an offering, but Abel gave the firstborn of his flocks.
Abel gave the absolute best he had to God, the choice of his flocks, while Cain reserved the best of his harvest for himself and gave what was left over to God.
The value wasn’t in the gift but in the heart of the giver.
Yet, it’s Cain’s response that we need to zero in on. The text says, “he was very angry,” which means to burn, kindle, to be furious.
Anger has no borders, and ignites very easily, and is incredibly difficult to stop. Like fire it will consume everything in its path. This makes anger a dangerous emotion.
The Bible has a lot to say about the subject of anger.
“26Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27
The emphasis of Ephesians 4 is not on anger as an acceptable response but on quenching it quickly.
The Greek idiom “do not let the sun go down” means to resolve the matter at hand immediately.
Ephesians warns us about not giving an “opportunity to the devil.” He uses anger to destroy marriages, families, relationships, spoil opportunities, and freeze our potential.
Listen to these warnings and instructions the Bible gives about anger.
“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” Colossians 3:8
“Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.” Psalm 37:8
When you feel the emotion of anger rise up, recognize it, and resist the urge to act on it.
In Genesis 4:7 God warns that if Cain acts out this emotion how sin is crouching at the door. Crouching is the position of attack. Instead, he and we are to rule over anger.
If you don’t control your anger, anger will control you. This makes anger a spiritual black hole.
- Soil God’s blessings in your life.
- Eliminate God’s joy.
- Steal your testimony.
- It will always leave you feeling shame and guilt.
Anger is often misguided and we later learn that Cain kills Abel.
Cain’s anger was not with Abel but God’s rejection of his offering. Cain should have directed his anger at God or truly himself.
If you have been the unsolicited recipient of anger, there is healing today in Jesus’ name. God can heal your hurt.
*If you feel that you are in danger you need to first take immediate action to remove yourself from that environment.
If you have an anger problem, God wants to heal that underlying cause that is the root of your anger. God has a better way for you!