Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27 (ESV)
You have had your difficulties with anger. That is an understatement, I’m sure. Why do you say that? I have allowed myself to become angry. I have fully vented my anger. I lost control of my emotions and expressed anger in ways that have damaged and destroyed relationships. I have held on to anger. I have carried resentment. I have let anger linger in my life over days and weeks and months, maybe even years. That’s not good. No, it’s not. I have been discouraged and defeated by anger. I have let the devil have an opportunity to gain a foothold to do great harm through my anger. I have distanced myself from others either because I was angry with them or they were angry with me. What do you want to do about that? What do you mean? You have described your past experiences with anger. What do you want to do with your anger now? I will no longer give full vent to my anger. I haven’t done that in a very long time. I agree. That does not mean I have not been angry. That does not mean I have not expressed my anger. That’s true. If I express anger at all, I want it to be under control. I don’t want to express anger in a way that will damage relationships. If I express anger, I don’t want to hold on to it from day to day. Every day, I want to resolve anger and reconcile relationships. I want to live in harmony with others. I want to love like you loved. I want to live like you lived. So, I will value relationships with others above whatever reason I might have to be angry. I want you to make me into a peacemaker. I want others to know that, above all, I love them even though I might be angry with them. That’s good.
Anger is not all bad. What do you mean by that? I was angry. It is not a sin to be angry. You will be angry in ways that are not sinful. How might that be? Have you ever been angry about injustice in the world? Yes. Has your anger every caused you to act to right wrongs in the world? Yes. Have I ever called you into action through some passion and anger that you have felt? Yes. Have I ever born fruit through your life and brought glory to my name through passion and anger you held in your heart? Yes, there have been many times I have done something good in response to injustice I have seen in the world. I know that you have borne fruit through my life and brought glory to your name through actions you guided me to take because I was angry. That’s right. Anger is more complicated than I imagined. Yes, it is. Will you bring your anger to me? Will you ask me how you should deal with your anger. Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I will not let the sun go down on my anger. I will resolve anger and reconcile relationships with others every day. I will not let anger give an opportunity and foothold to the devil. Instead, use my passion and anger to bear fruit for your kingdom and glory. Amen
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