Ephesians 4:26, Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.
In one of the devotionals this past week, we read about anger. Have you been angry? Just mad at someone or something? Anger is something that we ALL can identify with. At one time or another, we have all gotten angry at someone or something to one degree or another. Anger is beneficial when put to proper use. It is something God gives to us to protect our wellbeing. Unfortunately, due to our fallen nature (sin) and being left to our flesh, anger becomes more destructive than productive.
Paul here is stressing that we can be angry, but it needs to be for the right reasons (for in vs. 31, he tells us to put away all bitterness and wrath and anger – those fleshly passions which destroy everything associated with them). Anger must be controlled so as not to pass into sin. Anger that is selfish, undisciplined, and uncontrolled is always sinful. Anger must never be something that we allow to control our lives. Anger must not be carried over from one day into the next. Anger that is not speedily resolved soon takes deep root in the hearts and leads us into sinful behavior.
Matthew 5:21-22, You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
Jesus takes anger very seriously! You should take anger seriously too. We are not to let anger take such a hold on us that we begin to criticize or think bad things against anyone. How does Jesus tell us to act when we are angry?
Matthew 5:23-24, Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
He says, “Make things right with those you are angry with”! We all must remember that God loves the person you or I am angry with. So, what do you do with anger? Be sure you are getting angry at the right things. Jesus is our model in dealing with the emotion of anger. Jesus knew what it was like to be the subject of anger. Anger nailed Jesus to the cross. Why do prayers go unanswered? Why does God seem so far and distant? One reason is that we have not made things right with people we have wronged or have been angry with.
How do we forgive? Not in our own strength. Forgiveness is only possible through a cross. Forgiveness is simply accepting what Jesus has already accomplished for us and the person we are angry with on the cross. The cure for anger and resentment is forgiveness. Forgiveness for the Christian is not optional. We are commanded to forgive.
Remember the “Lord’s Prayer?”
Matthew 6:9-13, Pray, then, in this way:’Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name.10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts (sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors (others that have sinned). 13 And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Jesus is our model for forgiveness. Get in your mind, Jesus hanging on the cross. Jesus didn’t deserve to hang on the cross. He lived a perfect life. He helped people. He healed people all of his life. He loved the least and the lost. In return for all his love and good deeds, he was spat upon, ridiculed, whipped, and crucified. Yet as he hung upon the cross in suffering agony Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.“
Go to Romans Road to Salvation and/or Prayer of Rededication