Opening the Door to Trouble 9.10.20
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26–27).
We don't do anger well. We feel justified in everything we do and are angry if people are not of the same mind as we are. Our anger is generally selfish. It is less about right and wrong and more about "getting our way."
Paul says anger gives the Devil an opportunity in our lives. It makes us vulnerable. When we are angry we spew hatred, we abandon compassion, and we justify an unforgiving heart. Satan can do great damage to our life and witness because of our anger.
Let me leave you with the insightful words of Brant Hansen from his great book, UNOFFENDABLE:
"In the moment, everyone’s anger always seems righteous. Anger is a feeling, after all, and it sweeps over us and tells us we’re being denied something we should have. It provides its own justification. But an emotion is just an emotion. It’s not critical thinking. Anger doesn’t pause. We have to stop, and we have to question it. We humans are experts at casting ourselves as victims and rewriting narratives that put us in the center of injustices. And we can repaint our anger or hatred of someone—say, anyone who threatens us—into a righteous-looking work of art. And yet, remarkably, in Jesus’ teaching, there is no allowance for “Okay, well, if someone really is a jerk, then yeah—you need to be offended.” We’re flat-out told to forgive, even—especially!—the very stuff that’s understandably maddening and legitimately offensive."
Hansen, Brant. Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better (p. 6).