Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Ephesians 4:25-28 (NIV)
Well, without a doubt, I have done that. You have done what? I have held on to anger. I have carried anger from one day into another. Not only have I given the devil a foothold, I have given him a handhold as well. That’s not good. But you have learned your lesson. You have seen the damage the devil can do with unreconciled anger. Yes, I certainly have seen plenty of that. What is your attitude toward anger right now? I have hidden your word in my heart in regard to anger. How so? I have taken your word, that says I should be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” deep into my heart and mind. I have meditated on those words. I have memorized those words. I have prayed those words. I have grabbed ahold of those words and put them into practice. But that is not all. What else? Your Holy Spirit has used those words to fight in me, with me, for me, and through me. At just the right time, in a potential angry moment, the Holy Spirit has brought those words into my heart and mind. Those words have helped me to resist temptation and stand against evil. Why are you so concerned about how you might express anger? It has been a troublesome issue in my life. I know that expressing my anger will not bring about the righteous life you have called me to live. No, it will not. It pleases me that you have taken my word so deeply into your heart and mind and life. You have truly allowed my word to dwell in you richly. I am so thankful that your word has strengthened me to stand against anger. That is very good.
There is another form of anger that is not evil. There is another form of anger that is good. Do you know what kind of anger is good? Yes, I think that I do. Tell me what you think. At times you have allowed me to clearly see injustice in society. Seeing injustice in society has caused a form of anger to stir up in me that has positively motivated me to take action to right a wrong in society. Others have probably seen this action more as an expression of love rather than an angry response to injustice. This then, is a good from of anger. This type of anger has caused me to love others more deeply. This type of anger has made me more passionately available for your use. This type of anger has allowed you to work in and through me so I can be a light for you in the world. This is the only type of anger that I want to see in me. You have learned some very valuable lessons about anger. For that, I am very thankful. That is very good.
Lord, I will not let the sun go down on my anger. I will not carry anger from one day into the next. I will not give a foothold to the devil. Rather, I will confess and apologize for my anger so I can be reconciled and live in peaceful, loving harmony with others. Amen
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