A conversation today triggered in my mind some inspired words that the Apostle Paul wrote: “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.” (Ephesians 2:6-7)
Anger is a normal human emotion. When directly properly it can rightly be seen as a gift from God, but it is also something that the evil on can twist and distort into a hideous monstrosity that eats away at us and destroys everything around us. There is an anger that does not lead to sin, but Paul’s warning is that there is also an anger that is expressway to sin. As followers of Christ we need to be acutely aware of the dangers associated with our anger so that we can rightly gauge our hearts and minds.
Is my anger justified? Am I angry over things that would also make God angry? Is my anger interwoven with an unwillingness to forgive? Is my anger like a seething pot ready to boil over at any moment? Does my anger cause me to fantasize about revenge? Can I act on my anger in a way that I know would be pleasing to God?
To keep anger bottled up within us is a serious thing. Before the day is done, we need to deal with the angry feelings that rage within us. It may mean confronting someone who has offended you. It may mean forgiving that person. It may mean taking action to right a social wrong – remember this is action that is in keeping with the character of Christ. It may mean dumping the whole load before the Father and asking Him to help you sort through it.
If we fail to honestly and aggressively deal with our anger, then we have just given the devil a foothold – a place to stand in our lives. When we allow him to hang around in comfortable surroundings, he will do what he always does – steal, kill and destroy.
As you read this, did God unearth any buried anger? Did the Holy Spirit convict your heart about the angry rage that churns inside you? Did you come to a realization that you had given Satan a place to stand? If so, God is not shocked! He knew all along. Now that you know it, together with Him you can deal with it.
It begins with confession and repentance. Be honest with God who knows you heart. Grieve over your willingness to live outside God’s will for your life. Grieve over the consequences of your action or inaction. Then receive the abundant grace of God and His overflowing compassion. Return to Him knowing that you are forgiven and restored. Resist the devil, and he will have no choice but to flee from you. Then walk in peace and victory!