Righteous vs Unrighteous Anger
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:25-32
God created anger. The problem comes when we cross from righteous, Godly anger, to unrighteous anger. In verse 26 of Ephesians 4, it challenges us to not go to bed until we have released this anger and asked for forgiveness.
The passage above contains many "do not's":
- Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth. - Do not let the sun go down on your anger. - Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. - Do not give the devil an opportunity.
While these "do not's" are important, the passage contains a few "do's" as well:
- Do get rid of unrighteous anger. - Do hold on to righteous anger. - Do build others up. - Do be kind to one another. - Do speak the truth with his neighbor.
We cannot just rid ourselves of unrighteous anger, we must also replace it with edification. By doing so, we remove any foothold of the devil and receive God's peace in our hearts.
This topic has been heavy on my heart recently. Some of you are angry with your spouse or you children, or your coworker that your tendency is to try to escape and get away. The challenge from the Lord is to take a deep breath physically and spiritually letting Jesus Christ's work on the cross restore these relationships.
Lord I choose to surrender these thoughts to you, take them captive to the obedience of Christ. Take this unrighteous anger from me. Lord, I want what you want: restoration, peace, freedom, strength, and joy.
There is hope, freedom, and peace in Jesus name.