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Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-26
By saying, 'be angry,' the Bible clearly tells us that it is OK to feel anger; however, it also says 'do not sin.' There is anger which is reasonable. Parents get angry with their children from time to time when the kids do something that isn't right. The anger that the parents feel trigger the parental duty of establishing discipline and this is parallel with God's anger.
Yes. God gets angry, too. But He's very patient so it takes a lot, and I mean, a LOT, to get Him to be angry. Like, if we read the Old Testament, great wickedness and rebellion by the multitudes caused Him anger.
Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the Lord became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated. Numbers 11:10
All the families meant around 3 million people. All of them were whining, grumbling and complaining. They did not believe in God wholeheartedly, they were ungrateful, and they were idolaters. Moses, their leader, was also very bothered.
So you see, reasonable anger is not a sin because it triggers disciplinary action and discipline can only lead to good.
When God gets angry, a genuine apology is enough for Him and His anger goes away. He chooses to forget about it and He never brings the matter back up. He should be our model. In fact, the Bible says to imitate God.
Anger becomes sin when we let it grow. Imagine a bird perching itself on your head. There's no problem there, but normally, you won't let it stay there very long. It's uncomfortable. Anger is like the bird. Let it be but don't let it stay and make a nest on you and lay eggs.
Anger produces hatred. Hatred can lead to rage. Rage can lead to serious stuff like murder. We don't want that.
But where does anger come from?
It can easily spring up from impatience. It can come from jealousy, abuse, criticism, insecurity, unmet needs... It can come from various sources. If you've been angry, which I am assuming you have, you know what I'm talking about.
But we are warned, "Be angry and do not sin." Anger is something that we have to nip in the bud because its fruits will always be corrupt.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:21-22, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire."
Let's examine this, whoever murders will be liable to judgment and those who are angry with his brother will be liable to judgment. God puts murder and anger in the same category. So you see why we can't babysit anger? When not dealt with as soon as possible, anger can lead a person to hell. Yes, even Christians who have been born again, when they harbor anger and refuse to deal with it can also go to hell.
Do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil. Anger is an open door for satan to ruin a person's life. The devil's purpose is to drag humanity to hell and a believer who is saved who sleeps on his anger invites him in. Many people fall away from Christ because of their anger with the brethren. They take the offense and nurture it forgetting that God requires forgiving one another even if what they do is really, really offensive.
HOW TO DEAL WITH ANGER:
First of all, open up to God. Don't hold it in because you might burst into fits of rage throwing tantrums to no one's benefit. The moment you feel angry, take it to God right away. Let it explode in the presence of God because in His presence there is liberty and once you give it to Him, it's done.
I like to share my Oreo story with the Lord. It's so simple and shallow, really, but it shows me that God cares even about the simple and shallow things in my life, in everyone's lives, and that makes this experience meaningful. So, one evening I told my mom that I wanted to take the car to 7/11 and get some Oreo's with my brother but she got all...I don't know, but her mouth turned into a machine gun and the bullets were her words and I was so hurt, so upset and angry for getting an unnecessary scolding because I wanted some Oreo cookies.
I went to my room. Knelt on my bed and started to let it all out in the presence of God. I told the Lord what happened, how I felt, what I thought. "Lord, I can't believe I got this just because of an Oreo!" I cried, and I kept at it until I felt myself released from the overwhelming emotions. Then I went to sleep. I did not let the sun go down on my anger. I also forgave my mom right away. It's easier to forgive when things are fresh because then we give no time for ourselves to meditate on the situation and let it grow. Forgiveness kills anger because forgiveness comes from love and love covers all.
In the morning after my mom had gone, my dad, who does not understand Tagalog - which was the language my mom scolded me with - called me and told me to take the car and go to 7/11 with my brother to get some Oreo's. I was laughing on the inside. I was so amazed with the Lord for giving me what I got upset over. Letting go of anger rewards us. God is pleased when we confide to Him and He cares. I really love this experience because it tells me that if God cares for something so small, how much more will He care when we come to Him with something big.
You know, I was an angry person before I came to Jesus. I was depressed. But I gave it all to Him and I forgave everyone who's ever hurt me. He rewarded me for it by surrounding me with people who love me, people I'd never thought I'd have in my life. He did this and even more.
If you do the same and give your anger to God, He'll reward you. Give it all to the Lord who cares for you.
Would you rather give it to God now and get it over with or feel angry for the next ten days or more, feeling heavy on the inside? When you give your anger to the Lord, he takes it and you'll feel better. It's a guarantee.
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