Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity for the devil. – Ephesians 4:26-27
Scripture reading: Ephesians 4
Envy, pride, lust, greed: there is something so ordinary about the seven deadly sins, something so basic to the heart of mankind lost in sin, broken and corrupt. There is an extra ingredient in the next in our list: anger. The Bible actually has some pretty positive things to say about anger; above all, God Himself is said to be angry (Ps. 7:11).
You see, anger is really about what and how you love. God loves holiness, righteousness, wholeness, light. And the more you love something, the angrier you are when it is threatened, when it is in danger. There is a beauty then in God’s anger which is marvelous to see. His love for this world, for those made in His image, for His plan, are so deep and so constant, that He will hate and oppose and pour out His wrath against any opposition. On the same theme, a wife’s anger over her husband’s infidelity is not only understandable, it is holy. The problem is, our anger is, at the best, mixed with all kinds of sins and, at the worst, actually not righteous or holy at all, but is just concerned with standing up for our own rights.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Anger is the fluid that love bleeds when you cut it.”
But what about anger as a deadly sin? Sinful anger is also about love, but love in the wrong direction.
Suggestions for prayer
“O Holy Trinity, three Persons and one God, inhabit me, a temple consecrated to Thy glory. When thou art present, evil cannot abide; in thy fellowship is fullness of joy.” – The Valley of Vision: The Great God
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mark Stewart serves the Burlington URC in Burlington, WA.