Putting Anger to Bed!
Updated: Nov 4, 2021
Read Ephesians 4:1–6:24
22 Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is
corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts
and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly
righteous and holy. 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for
we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control
you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a
foothold to the devil. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands
for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use
foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that
your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not
bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Ephesians 4:22-30
The popularity of conflict resolution has put a damper on old-fashioned, red-eyed anger. Ranting, raving, and name-calling have almost become felonies
Despite this recent trend, conflict resolution is really nothing new. It has been
around for a long time, even before Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians.
That is why Paul is able to give great advice in his letter for dealing with one of
the main ingredients of conflict—anger. What stirs your temper?
In addition to handling anger, Paul also warns the Ephesians against illicit sex
and smooth talkers who peddle fancy religious ideas. He also gives family
members advice on how to relate to each other.
Anger is a dangerous emotion, “for anger gives a foothold to the Devil”
(Ephesians 4:27). The Bible, however, does not tell us to avoid being angry
but to avoid nursing our anger (4:26-27). When we respond in anger to a
situation, we sin by choosing the destructive alternative to the problem. We
also open ourselves up to developing a pattern of sinful behavior that may
include physical abuse and verbal attacks. If we nurse our anger into a
grudge, we will become bitter, which can negatively affect all our
relationships—especially the one we have with God.
Learn to control your anger without letting it rule you. When you are angry
confess your feelings to God, and ask him to help you respond to the situation
as Christ would. When you are angry, follow Paul’s advice and resolve your conflict before the sun goes down (4:26). Let God, not your anger, determine how you act.