Obstacles to Joy

Calvin Malefyt

READ : Genesis 4:1-12


Did you know that unresolved anger can rob you of joy? Cain, oldest son of Adam and Eve, was hurt that the Lord accepted the blood sacrifice of his brother Abel. His own sacrifice, demonstrating his skill as a farmer, was not acceptable. Indeed, he was humiliated. It affected his appearance. “Why are you scowling?” (REB). Cain was dejected and furious. “Why is your face so dark with rage? It can be bright with joy if you do what you should!” (Living Bible).

Because Cain did not resolve these feelings, sin was “a demon crouching at the door; it will desire you, and you will be mastered by it” (REB). He killed his brother.

The writer to the Hebrews cautions us to be careful lest there be any root of bitterness springing up which will defile many. Often this is the cause of spiteful conflicts in families, especially over money. It can contribute to church dissension. “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” cautions the Lord (Eph. 4:26). Anger will go underground, and later come out in cutting remarks, gossip, criticism, biting humor, or murder.

Face the cause of your negative feelings and deal with them. The end result will be peace and joy. Do you have this joy?


Spirit of God, heal us of all hidden anger. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.