“Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the Devil an opportunity.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)
For many of us, anger is a very serious and dangerous problem. Unfortunately, some of us have allowed our anger to fester and poison our hearts and minds. Consequently, we have lost our families, loved ones, friends, jobs, and ruined our reputations to the point that it is difficult for people to trust us anymore.
I think that in today’s verse, God, through the Apostle Paul, offers us some insight on where we might have gone wrong, and how to keep our anger in check in order to ovoid future problems. Here’s what the God is trying to teach us.
- “Be angry…” – anger is an emotion given to us, by God which we cannot just put away. God is telling us that it is OK to be angry, but He gives us three things to keep in check.
- “and do not sin.” – #1: God knows that because of our sin nature, our anger, for the most part, is used for all the wrong reasons. For example, vengeance against those whom we believe have wronged us, power over one another to either control one another, destroy one another, kill one another, etcetera, etcetera. These things are not acceptable to God, in any way, and no sin will go unpunished.
- “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” – don’t let your anger linger and fester because, with time, it will blow up and cause irreversible damage. We must make things right with God and the person we’re angry with, before the end of our day.
- “and don’t give the Devil an opportunity.” – uncontrolled anger is a weakness that the Devil likes to exploit in us. He will get in our heads and start telling us that we deserve to use our anger in whatever way we see fit, but fails to tell us the consequences of our actions. The Devil is a liar and a murderer. He knows that he can’t take those of us who are Christians to hell with him, but he can break our relationship with God, shame us, kill our spirit, kill our joy, destroy our testimony, and keep us from living in the center of God’s will.
For those of us who have allowed anger to destroy our relationship with our families, loved ones and friends, I want to share with you what I did to restore my relationship with God, family, loved ones, and friends.
- Get a legal pad notebook and pen
- Get in a quiet place to pray
- Pray for God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:8-9)
- Ask God to bring to your mind all the people that hurt you in you life
- Write the name of each person and what they did to hurt you (this may be very painful, but keep going)
- When you’re done, put your hand over the page, or pages, and ask God to help you forgive this people.
- Then, with your hand still on the page(s), tell them all that you forgive them the same way that Jesus forgave you (Colossians 3:13)
- Ball those pages up, take them outside, and burn them, and let it all go.
Note: Do not show those pages to anyone.
Then, do the same things for people you have hurt. Give yourself a day or two before you stat this process.
- Pray for God’s forgiveness for hurting the people on your list (1 John 1:8-9)
- Pray for God to bring to your mind those who you’ve hurt (do not exclude anyone)
- Write their names down and how you’ve hurt them
- Pray for God’s strength
- Begin calling every person on the list. Set up a time, and agree on a neutral place, in which you can meet
- Get together and ask their forgiveness
- Continue doing this until you’re finished with the list
- You’re not responsible for their response, just your obedience to God
- You may not find everyone on your list, but God knows your heart
- You don’t need their forgiveness because God has already forgiven you.
- You’re doing this to free yourself from the chains that bind you to that person
When you do this, you will be totally and completely free as Christ wants you to be free, not just for your benefit, but for His honor and glory. You will be free to love and serve Him as He deserves.
In Christ’s love,