We’re continuing to go through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. He’s explained that we’re now one body in Christ. Also, we’re working at putting on the new man. Because of this, there are some things that should be evident as a part of our Christian walk.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
Ephesians 4:25 NIV
First, Paul deals with deception. In the world, people are all looking out for their own betterment. Many times that involves being untrue to those around us.
That’s not to be the case in the body of Christ. We’re all members together. We need to learn the transparency and vulnerability that brings us closer together.
Yes, I know that there are those who would use this against us. Not all believers have pure motives. However, as for ourselves, we need to make sure that we’re walking correctly before God.
The next thing he talks about is anger. That’s something that always needs to be dealt with.
“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 4:26-27 NIV
There are some important truths here in regard to anger. First of all, anger, in and of itself, is not a sin. Anger is a passionate part of our emotional make-up. Even God expresses His anger (Hebrews 3:10-11).
So the problem isn’t about stopping anger. What we need to do is learn to use it appropriately. There’s a right and wrong way to be angry.
What this passage tells us is to be angry, but don’t let that anger cause you to miss the mark. Anger itself can be a very useful tool. It can be a passion that drives you to change things for the better. It can force you seek God’s wisdom concerning a bad situation.
The key is that our anger needs to be submitted to the Holy Spirit working within us. What causes problems is when we let anger have free reign and we do or say things without thinking. That’s when hurts or bitterness can result.
One thing that this Scripture makes clear is that anger has to be resolved quickly. That doesn’t mean that the passionate emotion goes away. It just means that we are on the right path to a solution.
Paul tells us that we cannot let the sun go down on our unresolved anger. This is especially true in our relationships.
This is one area that my wife and I agreed together about from the start of our marriage. We committed to each other that we would never go to sleep with unresolved anger. Of course, there have been some long nights where we were up until 1 or 2 in the morning! But our relationship was stronger because of this.
Paul tells us why this resolution is so important. When we go to sleep with unresolved anger, we tend to forget about it by morning. Sometime the strong passion that we felt has dissipated.
On the surface this seems like a good thing, but it’s actually a ticking time-bomb. Any unresolved anger becomes a piece of ground that the devil – the accuser – has a claim to in your life or relationship.
Then, even years later, the enemy can use this as a base of attack against your marriage, family, or church relationships. If we allow this pattern to continue, the devil can have multiple areas to attack from, causing divorces or church splits.
As members of the body of Christ, we need to be constantly aware of the evil one’s tactics. Don’t give away any ground to the enemy’s kingdom. Allow the Holy Spirit to have total control over your anger. Use that passion constructively, and don’t let it lead you into sin.
Question: How can your anger move you forward toward your destiny in Christ?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi