We are continuing with our series, ‘What motivates or drives you? We are considering the inner drivers that very often lead devastating consequences. In the first article we dealt with the issue of pride and ambition, as which led to death of Absalom, son of King David. In part two we looked at fear and insecurity, the inner poisons that brought the end of King Saul to a shuddering halt.
In Genesis 4 we read a universal story that stirs the emotion in all those familiar with the narrative. It concerns the two sons of Adam and Eve. Briefly, we read that the two sons of Adam and Eve, Cain the elder and Abel the younger, brought their respective offerings to God. Abel’s offering was pleasing and acceptable to God, whilst Cain’s offering was rejected by God.
We read that because Abel’s gift was accepted by God, Cain became extremely angry. He was angry because his offering was rejected. This anger turned against his brother, seemingly tinged with a huge dose of jealousy. What we see here are two negative motives and inner drivers working in tandem. Like all inner drivers anything that is not confessed, renounced and rejected will manifest itself either in terms of words, attitudes and actions that are inherently damaging.
In Cain’s case, his anger and jealousy manifested itself in direct action. Cain rose up against his brother, attacked and killed him. The rest of the narrative, whilst important insofar as it teaches other things about the voice of the innocent that rises up and gets the attention of heaven, is not critical here for our main thought which is that anger and jealousy are two deadly poisons. They will not only destroy us if left unchecked, but will lead us to destroy those closest to us.
We look at these two motivators very closely, and it reveals something in psyche of man that we must pay particular attention to. It is the fact that more often than not, people spend their time looking at and comparing themselves to others instead of focusing on their own game, as it were, or nurturing, building and developing the gifts and talents that God has given them; instead of spending time glancing left and right, over the wall and the proverbial fence, to see who is doing better in life.
The heart of Cain’s problem is that he preoccupied himself, spending valuable time making unhealthy and unhelpful comparisons. Experience shows that when that is the case, the person concerned is more likely to experience the build up of negative emotions, the two key ones which we are considering being jealousy and anger. These sometimes spill into hatred.
Like Cain, is there someone you are jealous of, or angry with because you see them seemingly doing well or better than you? If the answer is yes, there is a way out, involving three simple steps. First, recognise and be honest in your assessment of the problem. Secondly, confess and ask God for forgiveness. Thirdly, talk with an experienced and mature person you can trust, and who is able to give you counsel and guidance and who you can be accountable to. All this is overlaid by a daily discipline of prayer that involves coming to God each day and asking Him to keep your heart unsullied by the twin virus of pride and naked human ambition that lead to destruction.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2014©
PS: If you have been inspired, provoked or learnt something from this article, why not do any or all of the following: (i) leave some feedback or a comment, either positive or developmental; (ii) recommend it to a friend; (iii) share it with a friend. This will encourage and help me to serve you better, so together we can make a difference in our world.