Ephesians 4:26,27 – “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”
Do people ever make you angry?
Well, duh, Melissa. Of course they do! Do people ever make you act in your anger? Probably at least sometimes, right?
Being angry with people is a part of life that we all have to deal with. We will get frustrated with our spouse, our kids, our co-workers, our classmates, our parents – you name it! Every person you ever meet will eventually make you angry at some point or another. Guaranteed. But it is how we deal with that anger that is important.
You see, when you get angry you have a choice – you can either forgive and forget or you can you can hold onto that wrong forever. The first option is what God would have you to do. The second is what the devil would have you to do. The devil wants you seething. He wants you to take that wrong against you and wear it as a badge of honor that everyone should know about and experience. He wants you to carry that grudge day after day, week after week, year after year. Eventually, that grudge gets mighty heavy. You feel as though the weight of the world is on your shoulders. And you begin to notice that this horrible grudge is beginning to effect the rest of your life. It may take days to take effect or it may take years. Either way, eventually it will corrode your joy, your happiness, your peace. This is exactly what the devil wants. He wants your joy gone – you are more susceptible to more anger that way. He wants your happiness gone – without it, you are looking for people to be angry at. He wants you peace gone – it keeps you on edge that way.
All of this yuck is exactly why God instructed Paul to encourage the Ephesians to not let the sun go down on their anger. He didn’t say to not get mad or angry. He knows better than to ask something that is not attainable. He did say to not go to bed angry. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to wake up the next morning mad. It will do no one any good. When you go to bed angry, you are saying to the devil, “Welcome. Come on in and stay a while.” And let me emphasize, this is your choice. You choose to let him stay. You choose to invite him in. Sounds harsh, right? But you know it’s true. We have all been in a situation where we have to choose to let our anger go. We have to decide that we are not going to let the situation effect us. We have to choose to deal with the anger issue before we can rest properly.
So let me encourage you this week to guard your heart against anger. I know better than to request that you don’t get angry. But when you do, choose to get rid of it before you rest. Do give the devil an opportunity to take up residence in your heart.