“Be angry, and do not sin : do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26, 27 NKJV)
When God created us he gave us emotions. They are a natural part of what it means to be human. We are blessed to experience happiness and joy as well as compassion and sympathy. Whether we realize it or not, we have emotional responses to everything we experience in this life. Even in our relationships we can feel love and harmony or experience conflicts that make us feel hurt and angry. It’s okay. God has given us emotions and it’s okay to feel. He wants us to feel, but we are still held accountable for what we do with those feelings.
Paul tells the believers in Ephesus to “Be angry, and do not sin”. When we face conflicts that flood us with negative emotions like anger we need to remember its okay to feel. Be angry. Feel it, acknowledge it, wrestle with it if you have to. Just don’t allow that feeling to move you to sin against others and sin against God.
As believers we submit every area of our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, including the emotions we feel in times of conflict. For example: if you eat the last peanut butter cookie (my favorite) I may become angry. Though I may feel angry the Lord has instructed me on how to treat others and I must follow his commands. I’m commanded to love my enemies, to forgive, and most importantly, to be reconciled with others. God allows me to feel but his commands for my life are always greater than my feelings. So what do we do with the feelings in the mean time?
Feel your emotions. Acknowledge them. Confess them to God. Submit them to his commands.
What are some effective ways you’ve managed your anger in the past?