Click here to watch my video reflection on our text for today, or keep reading for my written reflections:
Today’s reading is from Ephesians 4: 25-32:
25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil. 28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Paul in his letters will often have sections, normally near the end, that function very much like the book of Proverbs, very practical advice for living your life. Today’s has such good stuff; don’t grieve the Spirit, don’t steal and help others; don’t let evil talk come out of your mouth, only what is good for building up – by the way, what would life be like if we all lived like this?
But what I really liked were where he starts – be angry, but do not sin, don’t let the sun go down on your anger and where he wings, put away all bitterness, wrath, and anger.
Paul has a to say about anger today. First, it’s ok to be angry, but don’t like the sun go down on it, and then put it away. So, which is it? You can be angry, but put it away?
I think the thing that we can learn from this passage is this. There will be times when we are angry. Let’s be totally honest. There times in our lives when we are angry. It may be over some great wrong or some great injustice. Or it may be that someone cut us off in traffic. We get angry. Let’s be honest about it. We do.
The question then becomes what do we do with that? What do we do with that anger? Do we acknowledge, come to terms with it, see what we can do about it, and then either fix what we can and release it? Or do we hold on to it? Do we stew upon it? Do we let us get next to us, inside of us, changing our thoughts, our motivations, our very being?
What do we do with our anger? What do we do when we get angry?
So, today, a little homework. What is it that truly makes you angry? What is it? Name that right now. If you are in a place where you can say it out loud, then say it out loud.
Now, let me ask you this final question. Have you given it to Jesus? Have you given whatever it is to Jesus? He can’t help you with the things that you haven’t given to Him.
We all get angry, yet. But what do we do with it? That’s the real question.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at Ephesians 5: 1-20.
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