Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:17-32
Key Verses: Ephesians 4:26-27
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
What makes you angry? The answer to that question will reveal a lot about you. If we allow it, we can learn much about ourselves by analyzing our anger. Anger is an emotion just like our other emotions, such as the “love” emotion. These emotions flow through us with varying intensity and frequency. Each emotion has a “trigger” that, when pulled, fires the intensity of that emotion.
We desperately need to understand that none of our emotions are sinful in and of themselves. The apostle Paul is clearly teaching that in our scripture for today. We don’t need to sin when we are angry. Sin is act of our will; whereas emotions are more automatic and reactive. I can’t always help the way I’m feeling, but I am always responsible for what I’m doing. It is true that I can often change the way I’m feeling by choosing an appropriate behavior, but the original emotion is usually out of my control.
Our scripture gives us three words of advice about the emotion of anger. First, be very cautious when angry. A sinful act is usually lurking close behind. Secondly, don’t allow the emotion to run wild without limits. “Don’t let the sun go down while we’re still angry” is speaking of our ability to control this “anger” emotion. Finally, Paul tells us not to give the devil a foothold. In other words, if you allow your emotions to rule, the enemy of our souls gains the upper hand. We will learn more this week about Spirit-controlled living versus emotion-controlled living.
Father, help me not to justify my sinful behavior by blaming my anger. Grant me wisdom and strength to walk as your Spirit directs. In Jesus’ Name, amen.