"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. ~~Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV
Does this passage mean we cannot be angry? Many references in the Bible reveal God’s righteous anger. Jesus demonstrated anger when He cleansed the Temple. (Matt. 21:12-13) Jesus never sinned. However, we all have sinned and fall short. (Rom. 3:23)
Aristotle wrote, “Anyone can become angry but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way—this is not easy.” Perhaps we can be mad and not sin.
We feel anger as it is an emotion. Sometimes we just like being mad. Perhaps it makes us feel as though we have control and power over a situation. In country singer Teri Clark’s song, “I Just Wanna Be Mad,” she declares in the chorus:
“I’ll never leave, I’ll never stray.
My love for you will never change.
But I ain’t ready to make up.
Well get around to that.
I think I’m right, I think you’re wrong.
I’ll probably give in before long.
Please don’t make me smile.
I just wanna be mad for a while.”
Perhaps as a woman, we think our man will come to his senses. Hello! He’s a man, created by God. And as I’ve heard Beth Moore proclaim, she wouldn’t want her man to be like her girlfriends. We don’t need a girlfriend in our home that will go along with us all the time. We need our man to be who God made him to be—the priest of our homes.
The danger in Clark’s song is that if we stay mad too long, we can give the devil an open opportunity to cause us to sin. Sin will be crouching at our door waiting for us as it did for Cain. If we dwell on the anger long enough, we will open the door and we fall into the enemy’s snare. Anger may be an emotion, but sin is a choice.
The Bible Exposition Commentary states, “Satan hates God and God’s people, and when he finds a believer with the sparks of anger in his heart, he fans those sparks, adds fuel to the fire, and does a great deal of damage to God’s people and God’s church. Both lying and anger ‘give peace to the devil’ (Eph. 4:27).”
Let’s not make excuses for sin that rises from anger. Let’s repent quickly. First John 1:9 tells us that if we will confess our sins, the Lord will be faithful to forgive us of our sins. Then let’s obey the Word. Some examples are:
Search your hearts and be silent. (Psalm 4:4)
Give a gentle answer. (Proverbs 15:1)
Let’s stay close to the Lord and not sin in our anger.Engrafted by His Grace--