“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4.26-27
Have you ever been so angry that you said something foolish and then wished you could take it back? I think most of us have been there before. There are times when we think we have every right to be angry. But here is a truth that we sometimes overlook … anger is a choice.
So what does Paul mean here when he tells the Ephesian Christians to “Be ye angry, and sin not … ” When does anger become sin? Anger becomes sin when we use it to attack another person. Perhaps as a spouse we have said something like this to our spouse: “How could you be so stupid? That was the dumbest thing that I have EVER heard.” You just successfully put down your spouse with some of the harshest language ever spoken. If anger is a choice (and it is), then we can choose some way other than anger to handle a disagreement or misunderstanding. Communication is not one person doing all the talking, and when anger is involved it becomes emotional abuse.
This second phrase tells us how to deal with inappropriate anger: “let not the sun go down upon your wrath … ” In marriage counseling I tell couples that when there is a disagreement, they must take care of it before then go to bed. I believe that is what Paul is saying here. A person who is unwilling to seek forgiveness and deal gently with the one who has been offended is an emotional and spiritual midget.
V. 27 is Paul’s final piece of the puzzle: “27Neither give place to the devil.” How do these two verses go together? Would you agree that Satan is the instigator of our anger? We may say, “Well, that’s just the way I am … ” as though that makes everything all right. But refusing to admit that we have allowed Satan to take us down the wrong path means that we will let it happen again. Just MY thoughts …