Is it possible to have peace and be angry? We are told in Ephesians 4:26 to be angry and sin not. Do we have permission to be angry? How can we have peace when we are angry?
Ephesians 4:3 says we should endeavor always to keep unity with the Holy Spirit with peace which connects us together.
Doing this is outlined in the scripture and because of the Holy Spirit it is very possible to have peace when you are angry.
Let’s look at some surrounding scriptures which will help us.
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
Anger is an annoyance, perturbed-ness, irritation. It should not be avoided, it is a legitimate emotion. It should be addressed. The feeling of anger is real. It should not be oppressed or depressed. It should be faced. Clearly the scripture would have said, “DO NOT BE ANGRY” if being angry was the problem. Being angry is not the problem. The problem with God is the sin that is generated because of the anger that is acted on.
Just like any other temptation we have like lying, cheating, killing, etc., anger is a temptation to sin. It is an opportunity to “give place to the devil”. When we give place to the devil, we “distrust” God, “distort” who God is, and “challenge” that God is in control. The sin is not the anger. The sin is the distrusting, distortion, and challenging of God.
So what should you do? You are angry. You are fuming. Your top is about to explode. You must do something. What can be done?
Instead of focusing on the source of your anger (person, circumstance), focus instead on God. Be still before God. Tell God that you are feeling angry and determine to trust God, see God for who He is, and not challenge God’s purpose in allowing the circumstance or the person’s actions. Remember that you are seeking God’s approval, not man’s. Seek God for contentment, safety, good, and to make the situation “right”.
If anyone ever had a “right” to be angry it was Jesus. He may have felt angry at the soldiers who were torturing him, but he did not sin. Instead, He kept trusting God and letting God be the judge of the situation. He did not allow Himself to determine the guilt of the offenders.
Why is it so important to not sin when we are angry? We don’t want to lose our light. We don’t want the sun to go down. It is not just a physical sunset at dusk. Instead it is the light of our countenance. It is the source of our strength, our ability to see, and the gladness of our heart. When we sin when we are angry, the light of our life goes out. We are left in the dark because we have distrusted God, distorted God, and challenged God’s authority.
Choosing not to sin when we are angry, creates the peace of God within us. The Holy Spirit “bonds” us with God in unity. That is how we do not lose our peace when we get angry. It is because we keep the light of our gladness of heart toward God. It is because we are “safe” in His arms. It is because we have unity with God through the Holy Spirit.
If you are one who is prone to sin when you are angry by distrusting God, distorting God by setting yourself as judge over God, or challenging God’s ability to make anything good come out of what has caused you to be so angry, STOP! Be still. Wait upon God. Entrust yourself to Him. Give Him time to work on your behalf. Acknowledge your anger to God, and He will direct your steps in the way of peace.
Do not allow the sun to go down on your anger. Do not lose your light. It is when you have the light, you’re able to see clearly. Don’t lose your trust in the Lord because of your circumstances or the people in your life that make you angry, annoyed or perturbed.
Written By: Anne Gurley