Cain or Elijah?

By Dave Henning / July 24, 2016

“Every person who feels anger toward God will follow the example of Cain or Elijah.”- Dr. Gary Chapman

Today Dr. Chapman discusses the second and third steps in responsibly handling anger toward God.

STEP TWO: Listen to God’s message.  Expressing our honest concerns to God puts us in a position to listen to His “quiet whisper” to us.  This quiet whisper may come through a trusted Christian friend, a beloved hymn or contemporary chorus, personal reading of Scripture, etc.  You can be certain God is speaking if the message you receive is consistent with Scripture.

Although listening does not always lead to understanding, listening does lead to accepting our situation without taking a malicious stance toward God.  Eventually, the believer who shares his anger with God experiences the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Dr. Chapman believes God interprets your anger as an expression of your love for Him.  After all, Gary concludes, you wouldn’t be angry unless you believed that God loves you and looks out for your best interests.

STEP THREE: Report for duty to get you next assignment from God.  Just because we get up and begin to do what God’s gifted us to do doesn’t mean our pain has evaporated.  However, it does mean our anger no longer functions as a barrier between us and God.  We choose to believe God consistently works in life’s most painful circumstances.  As long as we’re still alive, God continues to work through us.

When you feel anger toward God, your response falls into one of two categories: Cain or Elijah.  Following Cain means yielding to your sinful impulses.  Uncontrolled anger creates difficulty in your life.  On the other hand, following Elijah entails fully sharing your anger with God and listening to His quiet whisper.

Processing anger toward God constructively leads to a future that holds hope in spite of the present pain.

Today’s question: Currently, where are you positioned in Dr. Chapman’s three-step continuum?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “At peace with yourself”


About the author

Dave Henning

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