~~ a devotional ~~
26 — “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
27 — “Neither give place to the devil.”Ephesians 4:26, 27 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)
Have you ever been so angry you could spit nails at another person? I am sure all have been at one point or another. It is normal to be angry, even to be tempted to lash out at someone due to anger, but — as Christians — we are never to give in to such impulses.
In verses 26 and 27 of chapter 4 in his epistle to the Christians at Ephesus, Paul addresses a number of behaviors that may be a part of the person we were before becoming a Christian. One of those tendencies was to become angry toward another person and to seek revenge because of that anger. Paul cautions them in this. He tells them to be angry if they must, but do not stay angry.
Do what you must to gain control of your anger and set it aside by nightfall. When the sun goes down, allow yourself the enjoyment of watching the beautiful colors of the sunset with gratitude and admiration. Know those colors are a reflection of God’s love for us. He said, “do not let the sun go down on your anger” (v26). In other words, don’t let the day pass and allow that anger to destroy your sleep or the sleep of others.
He said, “Be angry, and sin not:” Don’t rant and rave. Don’t threaten. Don’t hurt yourself or anyone else. Work through your anger and set it aside.
When we allow sin to overtake our behavior, we do things we should not do. We do things Christians are instructed to not do by Jesus and the apostles. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructed the crowd to “turn the other cheek when others do you wrong.”
38 — “‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:'”
39 — “‘But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.‘”Matthew 5:38, 39 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)
On another day, Peter asked Jesus if seven times is sufficient to turn the other cheek to someone who does us wrong. Jesus answer to Peter was: “not seven times but seventy times seven times.”
21 — “Then came Peter to him, and said, ‘Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Til seven times?'”
22 — “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto the until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.‘”Matthew 18:21, 22 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)
When you think of it, through our belief and faith in Jesus and through our obedience to Him, we are forgiven many multitudes of sin over and above seventy times seven. Truly, grace doth abound in His forgiveness of an obedient Christian.
If we as Christians strive to emulate Christ — and that is to be our goal — we must learn to set our anger aside. Do not sin due to anger: such anger is merely Satan trying to lure us back into our old ways and away from Christ. Set anger aside. Forgive the other person toward whom your anger is directed and forgive yourself for being so angry. Holding onto the anger does not really harm the other person; it harms you. The ultimate consequence of holding onto anger can be the loss of your life due to a heart attack, a stroke, an aneurysm, or some other catastrophic health crisis. If we leave this world in a state of such anger, you can be assured: we will answer for it in the day of judgment.
When I was a teenager, in church services we sang a song that I dearly loved because it teaches this concept in such a harmonic manner. “Angry Words,” has ever been one of my favorites.
Words and Music: Horatio R Palmer (1867)
Key – Eb Major
Photo Above: by Andre Hunter @Unsplash.com.
Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Ephesians 4:26-27. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (30 January 2022). EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4 KJV (kingjamesbible.me).
Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 5:38-39. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (30 January 2022). MATTHEW CHAPTER 5 KJV (kingjamesbibleonline.org).
Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 18:21-22. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (30 January 2022). MATTHEW CHAPTER 18 KJV (kingjamesbibleonline.org).