“Be angry and sin not; let not the sun go down on your wrath. Neither give place to the devil.”
It can be victorious or viciously volcanic; the key is knowing which is which.
We know well its characteristics, especially when given full expression in an unbridled way: Bulging eyes. Flushed face. Veins popping out on one’s forehead and neck. Clenched jaws and fists. Rising blood pressure. Rapid, shallow breathing.
These physiological indicators will always likely be accompanied by wicked words and vindictive deeds. And, the one who’s “angry (in a sinful) way will usually let the sun go down on his wrath.”
He’ll go to bed angry. He’ll get up angry.
His last thoughts of the night will be the words and deeds of the one who’s offended him. He’ll have trouble going to sleep as he mulls over the heated encounter by nursing his hurts and building a tent over his resentment.
Even in his sleep, he’ll dream about his “adversary.” During his waking hours he’ll rehearse and rehash the scene over-and-over again—breathing new life into the situation and further embellishing it in his mind’s eye. And, most likely, he’ll tell others of the injustice of it all, trying to gain their sympathy and support.
But, that should not be, Pilgrim.
Not if we call ourselves a follower of Christ, Who willingly prayed “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” from the Cross (Lk. 23:34).
Now, we know the Lord Jesus wasn’t referring to their actions—for they knew they were nailing an innocent man to the cross (although they may have tried to convince themselves they weren’t). But, He knew their “minds had been blinded by the god of this world lest the light of His Glorious Gospel should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:4). Or, simply put, if they’d truly realizing they were crucifying the One for whom they’d been waiting all their lives, they wouldn’t have nailed Him to the Tree.
Even so, we should always strive to “be angry and sin not” by consciously “bridling our tongues” (James 3:2-3) in all of our dealings with others. Someone once said “Loose lips sink ships”—and they’ll certainly do great damage to relationships and God’s Kingdom work if left unbridled in our lives.
Truly, there is a time for “righteous indignation” whereby we stand on Truth even as Jesus did in the Temple that day (Jn. 2:13-17; Mt. 21:12-13). But, most of the time we act with fleshly anger and sin against the Savior by giving the devil a hat-rack in our lives. Do not give the him the slightest foothold, Pilgrim, for it soon becomes a stronghold (II Cor. 10:5); instead, “give the devil the devil” by going on the offensive in Jesus’ Name. “Be angry and sin not.”
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated May 25, 2010