Anger

 

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,” (Eph. 4:26)

Paul’s second shout out loud statement. You can be angry if, one, you don’t sin in the process and two, if it is short lived. I wonder if there’s much point in anger if it can’t involve any sin on my part and has to be self-banished even if the thing that caused the anger is not.

This means, among lots of other things, that you can’t be angry and say hateful words or do hateful things. You can’t get revenge or cause hurt or anger yourself. You can’t lose your self-control. If you can’t hit back due to turning the other cheek and you can’t speak hurtful things back due to having your speech seasoned with salt, then you might be able to get over it pretty quick which is the second requirement.

I just don’t think Paul or the Holy Spirit was condoning angry outburst or fit throwing. Jesus became angry, but it was very controlled and had a righteous purpose. If we limit our anger to righteous purposes and manage to keep it under control, we can probably handle Paul’s requirements for anger.

Take a minute and think about the last time you were angry. What really caused the anger and how did you react? Did you keep your cool? Did you explode? Did you calm the situation or make it worse. When you expressed your anger what was the reaction of others who witnessed the event?

If we compare our anger reaction to Paul’s criteria how do we compare? Can I honestly say that I was angry but not sinful? Can I say that I got over it in a hurry or did it last for days?

Not letting the sun go down on anger is good policy. It means our blood pressure will drop sooner which is good for our health. It means we can return to positive work and get things done quicker which is good for our welfare. It also means we can get to the point of forgiveness fast enough to make us Christ-like and not Satan like.

Task for today: Practice self-control. Literally, learn to count to ten or higher if necessary. Not literally, learn to bite your tongue. Anger can be overcome, try prayer.

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