Ephesians 4:26-27 says,
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil”.
To a person who is just seeing the topic of this article for the first time and even for those who are well acquainted with it, the topic may seem like a contradiction. However that could not be farther from the truth.
In the days of Paul and before then to as far back as the days of Moses, there were no technological advancements such as clocks and wristwatches for telling the time. So they simply measured the passing of time with the sun (Genesis 1:5,14).
So when the Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says, “do not let the sun go down on your anger”, he is simply saying don’t let time pass with you remaining angry. The reason is this – “…be angry and sin not”.
You see anger in and of itself is not necessarily wrong. It is simply an automatic response to perceived injustice or wrongdoing towards oneself or others. That is why even God gets angry and yet God has never and will never be guilty of sin. For example God gets angry at sin and yet it doesn’t make Him a sinner because even in anger He is called righteous. According to Psalms 7:10-12,
“Who is the saviour of the upright in heart, is my breastplate. God is the judge of the upright, and is angry with the evil-doers every day. If a man is not turned from his evil, he will make his sword sharp; his bow is bent and ready”.
The reason why Gods anger is just is because it is towards evil, wrongdoing and injustice. Likewise as a Christian this is the only type of anger that you should permit in your heart. So anger is not necessarily wrong if it is channeled in the right way against evil and not against people.
However when we ‘allow’ feelings of anger to persist for longer than they ought to, it will often lead to sin like fighting (Proverbs 15:18); misguided and graceless talk (Proverbs 15:1); or even murder (Genesis 4:5-8). This is why the scriptures say that, “anger rests in the bosom of a fool” (Ecclesiastes 7:9). Anger is not innately wrong until it is allowed to remain (or rest) in our hearts because it may invariably end up making us to do things that are foolish.
Neither give place to the devil – Ephesians 4:27. In other words, when you allow anger to persist in your heart, you give the devil an open door to take control of your actions and emotions. For example, a person who is angry may cause injury to another in a fight only to regret it afterwards. The testimony of such people is usually “I don’t know what came over me”. The reason is because when you get angry and allow it to persist, the devil has an opportunity to take influence over your life.
Anger will come but remember don’t let time to pass with you in anger.