Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down upon your
Eph. 4: 26.
This passage sounds as though permission were given to be
angry. But Paul is taking into consideration the way of the
world. Men are tempted and moved to anger. There are no
clean records. Under sudden provocation the heart swells with
anger, while the devil lustily fans the flame; he is ever alert to
stamp us with his seal and image and make us like unto himself,
either through error and false doctrine (teaching), or through wrath and
murder in conflict with love and patience. These two forms
of evil you will encounter, especially if you make an effort to be
a godly Christian, to defend the truth and to live uprightly in
the sight of all. You will meet with all manner of premeditated malice
and deceit, and with faithlessness and desire of ill will
on the part of those you have benefited. This will hurt you and
move you to wrath. In your own house and among your dear
Christian brethren you will often meet with that which vexes
you; a word of yours may hurt their feelings. You can be sure of all of this.
This life of ours is so constituted that such conditions
will exist. Flesh and blood cannot but be stirred at
times by wrath and impatience, especially when it receives evil
for good; the devil is ever at hand kindling your anger and
endeavoring to fan into a blaze the wrath and ill will between
yourself and your neighbor.
But right here, says the apostle, you should beware and not
sin; not give rein, nor yield to the impulse and promptings of
wrath. That you may indeed be moved, the apostle would say,
I well know, and you may fancy you have the best of reasons
for exhibiting anger and vengeance; but beware of doing what
your wrath would have you do; if overcome by wrath and led
to rashness, do not continue in it, do not harbor it, but subdue
and restrain it, the sooner the better. Do not surfer it to take
root or to remain with you over night. If followed, wrath
will cause you to fall and sin against God and your neighbor.
When wrath attacks you, go into your chamber, pray the Lord's
Prayer and confide in God; he will uphold you in his righteousness.