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Genesis 4:3-8 (Amplified)
“And in the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. And Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat portions. And the Lord had respect and regard for Abel and for his offering, But for Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it. And Cain said to his brother, Let us go out to the field. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”
This tragic account of the first murder in history reminds me of what CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy attempts to avoid by teaching patients to deal with their thoughts, prior to those thoughts affecting emotions and ultimately inducing a potentially harmful action (behavior).
Situation ——> Thoughts ——> Emotions —–> Behavior
I tell my patients to stamp out the ANT’s (automatic negative thoughts) before those ANT’s can sting their brains releasing the poison, which affects their emotions and ultimately their behavior.
In Cain’s case, the situation was that God did not accept his offering. The Bible doesn’t mention the thoughts which preceded Cain’s emotional state of anger, indignation, sadness and depression. I can only imagine the ANT’s crawling around in Cain’s brain. The process could have gone like this...
MY, offering not pleasing to God. Why not? I work really hard in the field!!! Doesn’t God see how hard I work? Oh, yeah, and baby brother, Abel. All he does is sit around all day on his duff watching the dumb old sheep. I work harder!!! I should be loved more than him. He makes me so angry!!! He’s the favorite of the family. He’s God favorite. Why, I should…
Cain failed to stamp out the ANT’s (the evil one’s lies) before they changed the course of his life, sending a shock-wave of curses throughout his progeny.
We all have a choice to stamp out those ANT’s before they can affect our destiny.
Holy Spirit, empower us to stamp out any ANT, which may attempt to poison our thoughts. For the glory of Jesus, AMEN!