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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Dealing with Anger (Ephesians 4)

In this life, we will often be tempted to respond in anger. When that happens, how do we deal with that anger in a Godly way? How do we make sure our anger is righteous anger? How do we "be angry and yet do not sin." God gives us guidance in His Word.

The Apostle Paul taught the church of Ephesus about dealing with anger. We can learn a lot from His instructions:

Ephesians 4:26-27 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.

So the first thing Paul said is "be angry and yet do not sin." How do we do that?

  1. We don't take our own revenge.

  2. We don't respond in anger when someone says something we don't like. We respond calmly as God guides us.

  3. We don't wish destruction on the person we are angry with.

Romans 12:19-21 [19] Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. [20] Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” [21] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The second thing Paul said is "do not let the sun go down on your anger." How do we do that?

We forgive the person who wronged us and we do it that day rather than stewing on it and letting the anger build up inside us day after day.

When our pastor in southern Illinois was killed by a gunman on March 8, 2009, his wife, as you can imagine was filled with all kinds of emotions. How in the world could she not be angry with that man who killed her husband? It was actually their daughter who helped her forgive him. Her young daughter said, "Mommy, I hope that man who killed Daddy comes to Jesus." At that moment Cindy Winters knew that she had to forgive Fred's murderer. And with God's help, she was able to. That forgiveness helped Cindy heal and gave her opportunities to share her story. National news networks interviewed her and asked why she forgave that man. She responded with the gospel and how Jesus forgave her and requires her to forgive others:

Matthew 6:14-15 [14] For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. [15] But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Personally I find forgiveness to be one of the hardest commands to live out. But I have also found that when I pray repeatedly asking God to help me forgive, to bless that person and draw them to Him, God has given me the ability to forgive.

The third thing Paul said is "do not give the devil an opportunity." What does that mean and how do we do that?

The longer we hold on to our anger and sit in unforgiveness, we will naturally stop leaning into Christ.

When we want to hang on to the anger, we will be filled with bitterness and resentment that will be unleashed on others around us.

When we hold on to that anger, our physical health will suffer consequences.

Satan will have a field day watching us consumed with the anger to the point that no one will want to be around us and our witness for Christ will be destroyed.

The only one who wins when we hold on to our anger is Satan.

Let go of the anger and draw close to Jesus. Forgive and trust God to take vengeance.

Dear Lord, Thank you for teaching me about forgiveness. Thank you for teaching me that it is when I pray for your blessing and salvation for the one who wronged me, You give me the ability to forgive. Lord, please help me to keep forgiving, loving and shining your light so that others truly see your reflection in me. In Jesus' name, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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