I think most married couples have heard the phrase, “Don’t go to bed angry.” Did you know that the phrase is actually found in the Sacred Text?
In Ephesians 4:26-27 (NASB) we’re told, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.”
I actually prefer the way The Message renders these verses. “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”
Jesus’ half-brother takes the subject a step further in James 1:19-20 (NASB), “Now everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for a man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness of God.”
Admittedly, I struggle with anger. When I have an idea of the way a certain something should go, and it doesn’t go that way, my immediate reaction oftentimes is anger.
However, the Bible tells us very clearly that anger is a sin. James 1:21 writes, “So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.”
There is a difference, however, between getting angry when the grocery store only has two checkout counters open on the day before Thanksgiving and carrying deep-seated resentment from one day to the next.
Jesus even equated anger to murder. In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus says, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!”
When Jesus speaks, we all better listen. Perhaps we’d be best served to take Paul’s advice from Ephesians 4:23-24 (NLT). The apostle writes, “ Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”
Cast aside your anger. It does you no good. It allows Satan to gain a foothold, which is all he needs to derail your life.