Ephesians 4:26-27, 29 – “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity…29 Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth…”
Have you ever received the silent treatment? ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘Nothing.’ ‘Are you sure? It seems like something is wrong.’ ‘I’m fine.’
Christians can be especially guilty of withholding their authentic feelings because they know God is love and God wants peace. However, if we are going to continually live in peace, we must allow God to lead us in dealing with our anger rather than avoiding it and burying it. With advances in technology and the sciences, we know that anger avoided and stuffed leads to health problems. Anger is the highest consumer of our emotions and a lot of depression can be linked to anger turned inward. In other words, if you don’t deal with it, it will manifest itself again.
The Bible tells us ‘be angry.’ Anger is a normal emotion that comes when we feel boundaries have been crossed and violated. Good relationships that lead to human flourishing and progress have a place for honest conversations that sometimes include being angry. The Holy Spirit warns us about undealt with anger as an opportunity for the devil. When we work out our anger with the other person, we don’t give the devil a chance to build a large chasm between us. Satan works in our minds to make mountains out of mole hills. The Holy Spirit works to bring out the truth but with self-control that doesn’t do great damage with unwholesome words.
When we feel ourselves growing angry, we need to be praying to Jesus to help us be under control while sharing our anger. In some cases, we need to step away and catch our breath, we might then find it’s really something we need to let go of and get over before the sun goes down. In other cases, God won’t let us get over it because He knows if we don’t deal with it, it will be an on-going problem.
Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you that you call us to authenticity under the control of the Holy Spirit. Help us to face our anger, and its root issues, and set us free from all bitterness and unforgiveness in Jesus’ name, Amen.