25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 5 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
I am struck by the term angry and anger in this passage:
Be angry – but don’t sin.
Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you along with all malice.
Wow it seems the church in Ephesus had an anger problem! There are instructions here that are valuable for us to reflect on.
Anger is not sinful – necessarily. The term righteous anger is real – think of Jesus braiding a whip to drive out the sellers in the temple courts (John 2:15). Many people struggle with anger that is none too good! So, if you’re going to be angry – be righteous in your anger! That means get angry about things God would be angry about – injustice, sinfulness – think pride, lust, and the flesh – get angry about things that degrade and demean people, which oppose God and His kingdom! And if you get angry – don’t dwell in it – let it go at the end of the day – keep short accounts – don’t rehearse it and what you’re planning to do to the person the next day or the next time you see them – be quick to listen and to forgive.
Also remember you can ‘put it away’! Separate yourself – don’t play the victim, don’t be a victim, choose to work through it and overcome your anger – you can – it may be difficult, but it is achievable. If you need help, ask, there are many who have faced something similar and who would be more than willing to assist you in breaking through your anger!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta