“‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Eph. 4:26, NIV).
An integral part of being angry and not sinning is knowing when to let go of your anger. Perpetuating anger perpetuates sin, which perpetuates unforgiveness, which intensifies the anger response.
Once you enter this cycle, you are no longer dealing with each separate infraction of displeasure. You are dealing with an accumulation of many infractions against your person. You are repeatedly scraped by the same offense until it is no longer the site of a single injury but a multiple stab wound.
It is easy to hold the sense of hurt in our hearts when we lie down to sleep at night. But when we go to sleep upset, we will more than likely wake up upset. God wants to be the final word you hear before sleep overtakes you. In the quiet stillness, say nothing else. Don’t have the last word. Don’t justify your position. Be still and allow God to reveal Himself in the silence. That moment is a time to gain His insight and perspective and lay down all arguments.
It is not wrong to look back over your day and realize you have made mistakes or wish you had done things differently. You can allow the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance any grievous word or deed. But this is best accomplished in the stillness of your bed as you read your Bible or commune with the Lord in your heart.
God wants our faults to be exposed by the light of His truth, which is His Word. This light heals what it reveals. As we draw closer to Him, He dispels the darkness of our lives until it becomes light. Guilt is darkness; mercy is light.
“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble”
(Prov. 4:18-19, KJV).
Though you are not perfect, you are walking toward the perfect day. Now is the time to allow your heart to be purged. Won’t you embrace God’s Word and wisdom? Seek His counsel throughout the day, and He will reveal Himself to you.
Adapted from Be Angry But Don’t Blow It: Maintaining Your Passion Without Losing Your Cool (Thomas Nelson, 2000) by Lisa Bevere.