And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. ~ Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT)
Have you ever met someone who has a very short fuse (or maybe that’s you)? For those who don’t know what that is: A person with a short fuse is somebody who blows up in anger at the smallest stuff. Someone took the last Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth! Somebody seemed to look at them with side-eye? Immediately they are their sworn enemy. The door hinge is squeaky, so they go all ham on the door! People who behave in this way are consumed with rage. It’s hiding just beneath the surface until something happens to set off the explosion. (Hence the whole short fuse analogy.)
The reality is that though many of us may not have such a short fuse when it comes to rage, we are full of anger. Just look at the negativity of our social media posts, or the gossip that we spread behind people’s backs – it’s there. Or, even though we don’t express it outwardly, we really do despise certain people, we just don’t show it. (In other words, we fake it.) And, unfortunately, the world tells us that we should be angry at basically everything at every moment of every day. If you’re offended, then it’s someone else’s problem and they’re gonna have to deal with your wrath. In this day and age, we generally call this being “woke.”
Here’s the problem. God actually tells us that being woke, or just generally being angry, is demonic. Check out how the apostle Paul put it in our verse today, “And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Essentially, what he is saying, is that if we allow ourselves to be controlled by our anger, we’re actually worshiping the realm of Satan, not of Christ. In fact, the Bible actually tells us to do the opposite, be “quick to forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)
So, we need to practice anger management. But, how do we do that? It’s simple in concept, hard in practice. We need to see others with love. Yes, people will tick you off. Yes, situations will irritate you. We can’t control the actions of others. We can only control your reaction to them. To do this right, we must always seek to forgive. This is the way of God.
Today, and every day, seek to forgive others. Practice anger management God’s way.