“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 HCSB)”
Being angry against a brother, or sister, in Christ is not forbidden, but being angry without cause, is a sin and is forbidden. God demands the we keep our anger in check and in today’s verse He gives us three ways to do it:
- “Be angry and do not sin.” – we must be aware of our sinful nature and not sin when we get angry. We must keep our anger clear of all bitterness, spite, maliciousness, and all other evil thoughts. It is possible to do this, otherwise, God would not have commanded us to do it. This is why we must at all times be in a posture of prayer.
- “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” – is a call for us to get rid of our anger right away. Allowing anger to linger for any amount of time allows our feelings and emotions to fester and grow until they blow up, destroying families, friendships, and even entire nations.
- “and don’t give the Devil an opportunity.” – holding on to anger is an open invitation for the Devil to come and destroy us, our families, loved ones, and others. We must not send that invitation!
So, how do we keep from sinning when we get angry?
- Forgive – we must immediately forgive the person who has caused us to be angry. Forgiveness soothes our spirits. God says: “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ (Ephesians 4:32 HCSB).” If we do not forgive one another, God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:15).
- Be slow to anger – sinful anger is not a way of life that honors God. God says: “My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness (James 1:19-20 HCSB).” Anger is a choice.
- Choose to love instead – love is a choice and it always overpowers sinful anger. God says: “Hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses (Proverbs 10:12 HCSB).” Also, 1 Corinthians 13:4-5.
These are just some of the things we can do to keep our emotions in check and choose restoration instead of destruction.
None of this is possible, however, without the love of Jesus living in us. His love for us and our love for Him compels us to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). It is a choice we all have to make. Do you need Jesus’ love to reign in your heart and mind? Do you want peace and love in your life? Here’s how God says you can have it:
- Recognize that you’re a sinner and thank Him for sending Jesus, His only Son, to die on the cross in order to pay the ultimate price for your sin (Romans 3:23; Romans 5:8) and raising Him from the dead in order to give you eternal life (John 3:16-18; Ephesians 1:13-14).
- Tell Him that, at this moment, you willfully and intentionally choose to stop living your life in rebellion against Him and choose to start living your life as His disciple; that you commit to seeking Him, every day; following Him, every day; and that you will strive live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to Him and only Him, no matter the cost – even if it costs you your life (2 Corinthians 5:15; Romans 10:9-10). Then, do it.
This is the only way you can become God’s child (John 1:12) and experience the fullness of His love, goodness, joy, peace and perfect care. Do this right now!
If you did this, God is so happy with you and wants to start working in your life and through your life. Please send me a message letting me know that you did it so that I can pray for you as you begin a new life in Christ.
Now, wouldn’t it be a great thing for your family, loved ones and friends to have the peace, joy, love and security you now have?! Go tell them, right now, why you chose to follow Jesus. Let me know how it goes.
God bless you and keep you, always.