Ephesians 4:26-27 — “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.”
At 9:01 a.m., he walked in the door. Tension, like a biting wind, whooshed in behind him. He was expecting his check, but I had been out of the office the day before and hadn’t gotten his message. This wasn’t a problem. I could quickly prepare the check, but he wasn’t willing to wait.
He shot belittling words my way, and I felt my frame stiffen. “How could I have possibly known he was coming when I had just walked in the door myself?” Bitter words rose to my lips, but I was able to catch them before they escaped my mouth.
Ignoring the increasing strain, I set about my task. Finally, he stormed out through the door, check in hand. But the tension stayed. My whole day was on the verge of ruin practically before it got started.
Anger is a natural human response to an injustice. Throughout the Bible we read of times when God became angry. We are made in His image, so it stands to reason that we would experience this emotion also.
The difference is that God is always righteous and just. We are not. In our sinful state we often allow this emotional response to go beyond what it should.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, God warns about the danger of holding anger. The Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, guides us to release our anger before the sun sets. This may mean having a difficult conversation with someone.
We may also wrestle in prayer for freedom from our indignation and its affects. Not dealing properly with anger provides the devil an opportunity to do us great damage.
My irate client did me an injustice by taking out his frustration on me when it was not warranted. His behavior affected me, both physically and emotionally. But I had a choice to make: by holding onto my anger I would allow him to control the rest of my day.
So I took a deep breath and said a little prayer as I waited for my pulse to slow. “Lord, help me to forgive and move forward with your blessing.”
Suddenly the air lightened, and a bit of sadness for this impatient man who almost ruined my day replaced my angst. I had a right to be angry, but the sun was still shining and I was called to forgive.
Waking from my reverie I calmly turned back to my tasks at hand, but not before I whispered, “Sorry, Devil! There will be no opportunity for you to win today!”
Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her messages to her children with Farm World. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com