Cain was “very angry” when God rejected his chosen sacrificial offering (Genesis 4:5). And the Lord asked him, “Why are you angry?”
Jonah, waiting for God’s judgement to fall on the city of Nineveh, appreciated the comforting shade of a vine that grew up over his head. And he complained bitterly when a worm chewed into the vine and killed it, leaving Jonah to bake in the hot sun. The Lord said to him, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?” (Jonah 4:9)
These two men have reactions quite different from that of the centurion Jesus met at Capernaum. His favorite servant was dying but what he says to Jesus is, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.” (Luke 7:6) No anger or frustration there, it seems. The centurion accepts the reality that those in charge get to set things in whatever order they like. Jesus was amazed at that reaction. It was reactions like Cain and Jonah’s that were more common.
Was it the military training that was the key there? Outside of a few rounds of boot camp at Parris Island with the Marines, is there any other way to achieve that?