“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
It seems like I am angry and resentful a lot. Why do I have a short fuse some days while other days I am almost too patient, to the point of burnout? What does it mean to be angry and not sin while you are angry? Anger is not a good emotion and is not one that is kind to your body.
Anger manifests in our bodies and sometimes even causes illness. It’s not an emotion that I want to have, and yet I feel it all the time now that I am a mother and have to juggle work and taking care of my son.
I felt anger even before I was a mother because I worked and put up with non-ideal clients, co-workers, and situations. I endured those situations and sometimes suffered in silence. Other times I fought back, and that seemed to make it worse before it made it better.
Psalms 4: 4 says: Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
David, who wrote the majority of the psalms, was a man beloved by God. But he was a man who felt strong emotions and didn’t always do the right thing, yet he always repented and brought his sins to God.
Is it a sin in itself to be angry? I don’t think so. Otherwise, I think Jesus would have sinned. He certainly had moments when the Pharisees were harassing Him and trying to get Him to say something that would trap him. He even called them hypocrites at times. I’m sure He felt frustrated. He suffered everything we suffer and then some. Our problems are tiny compared to what He suffered and died for. It is a gift – salvation – and even though He felt anger sometimes, because it is human nature to feel angry from time to time, whether or not the cause is justified, He never sinned. He took on all of our burdens. He made himself a servant so that we could live and have life eternal. What a tremendous sacrifice!
So then, in comparison, what do we have to be angry about? The Bible tells us to meditate and be still, and that is the best thing to do after we have been angry. Meditation and stillness brings peace. Not the peace that the world gives, but God’s peace.
I want to be in that number “when the saints go marching in”. I don’t want to forgo Heaven because I was angry about some small thing that I wasn’t able to forgive. We need to be more like Jesus. We need to meditate more and be still. Amen.