“And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Ephesians 4:26
How simple, right?! If only it was that easy. Here’s the solid truth behind this short, substance filled scripture:
TRUTH #1: We are not called to avoid anger, but to properly manage its unavoidable presence in our lives.
Everyone gets angry! EVEN JESUS got angry! Anger is an amoral emotion. The heart behind anger is what we must be mindful of! When Jesus flipped tables in the temple (Matt. 21:12-13), the deep source of his righteous anger stemmed from genuine concern about God’s business. Righteous anger is Holy Spirit-led and concerned with God’s business, and sinful anger is selfishly concerned with pleasing the flesh.
TRUTH #2: Take care of God’s business, and He’ll take care of yours.
I spent many years full of anger and resentment towards everyone, including God, because things didn’t work out for me the way I thought I wanted them to. I tried fully controlling my own business thru music, motivational speaking, and even ministry! I spent much of that time deceived, thinking I was taking care of God’s business when in reality my heart was more concerned about me! One of my mentors helped me see this, and he challenged me to try to help others more than I’m trying to help myself. That’s when everything changed for me, and I discovered this solid truth:
TRUTH #3: Through Christ, I am a VICTOR, not a VICTIM.
Often times anger results from wounds. Someone hurts us, and we vengefully want them to get what they deserve as if we are better than them. Hurt people hurt people, but look at how Jesus calls us to respond to those who hurt us:
“… love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
– Matthew 5:44
Jesus exemplified this principle by sacrificing His life on the cross. He could’ve snapped his fingers and killed every soldier torturing him, but he humbly chose to love them. His righteous anger towards evil fueled him to overlook his flesh-centered business, and He took care of God-centered business at the highest level.
It’s crucially important to identify wounds in your life, and invite Jesus to bring healing. It’s not an overnight process, and for me, it has taken years of journaling, prayer, and Christ-centered counseling. But instead of giving up, I chose to trust the process, and it has changed my life.