When you’re angry, be careful! This is the focus of Paul’s command in Eph. 4:26-27 –
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
Through the power of God’s indwelling Spirit, we need to be careful to not sin in our anger, to not sleep with our anger, and to not supply Satan an opportunity through our anger.
Practically, how do we learn to avoid these dangers? Using “ANGER” as an acronym, here are 5 practical suggestions:
- A-ACKNOWLEDGE your anger; be honest about your feelings of anger. Don’t hide, deny, ignore, or justify your anger. 4:26 – “Be made angry…”
- N-NAME (identify) to yourself what’s provoking your anger. Be as specific as possible. God asked Cain, “Why are you angry” (Gen. 4:6). There’s a sense in which He asks us the same question, and we should ask it of ourselves!
- G-GO TO GOD in praise and prayer. Remember and rejoice in who He is, how He has blessed you in Christ, what He has called you to, and what He has promised! 1-3!
- E-ENTRUST yourself afresh to God’s sovereign love, wisdom, goodness, and authority. Constantly hold up the “shield of faith” 6:16. (see also 1 Pet. 2:21-23)
- R-RESOLVE to respond with words and actions that please God, bless people, unify the church, and witness of Christ. Walk worthy – 4:1-3!
Beloved, there are many ways our anger can be provoked. We have no control over the people or circumstances that might vex us, but it’s our responsibility to respond in ways that magnify Christ. Let’s keep praying for and encouraging one another in these things – Eph. 6:18!
Because Christ lives, and is returning,