Why are you angry ? Why are you so unhappy ?Genesis 4:6
To covet is to desire what belongs to others. Coveting is very common here in Africa. We covet the material possessions of others, like their homes or their cars. Or we covet the personal advantages of others like their good health, their professional success or their family life.
Coveting makes us agitated and unhappy. We become resentful of those who seem more fortunate than us. We experience hostile feelings against them. When this envious hostility grows, it can become agressive and violent.
The Bible tells many stories about how coveting and envy turned violent.
Our first human parents, Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain became envious of Abel because God approved Abel’s sacrifice, and God didn’t approve the sacrifice of Cain. Cain became angry. God went to Cain and asked him: “Why are you angry? Why are you so unhappy?”
God invited Cain to do what was right so his sacrifice could be approved. Then, God warned Cain that his envious anger was like a wild animal crouching at his door, getting ready to destroy him. God told Cain to control his hostility. But Cain’s heart was so full of anger that he killed Abel.
God did not abandon Cain even after he murdered his brother.
Today, God does not abandon us to an unhappy life of coveting and hostile envy.
Through our broadcast ministry, listeners throughout West Africa learn to recognize this destructive tendency to covet and envy. And they learn and confess these sins to God. Then, with patience and love, God teaches them, along with us all, what Cain refused to learn: to do what is right and to live in peace and contentment.
Prayer Heavenly Father, forgive us when we become envious of others. Give us a heart at peace so we can do what is right and live in contentment everyday. Amen