September 11, 2009

Be Slow to Become Angry

Ephesians 4:25-32

“In your anger do not sin”…
Ephesians 4:26


Some time ago a person came to talk to me because she was afraid of her husband. According to her story, she and her children were living in constant fear because his anger could erupt at any moment. His anger was a constant presence in their home.

Theirs is not the only home where anger is a frequent visitor. Throughout the years I’ve been in homes where you could literally feel the anger. Sometimes it was just beneath the surface; sometimes it was expressed verbally or even physically. And often people would excuse it by saying they had been provoked, and therefore their anger was justified.

According to the Bible, anger is a legitimate emotion. But much of our anger is sinful. Both Paul and James warn us to be slow to become angry, and not to sin in our anger. Anger can kill. It can kill relationships, it can kill our feelings, and anger can lead to verbal, physical, or emotional abuse. Some people go through life emotionally crippled because of the anger they had to live with while they were growing up.

If you have sinned in your anger, ask for forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to fight your sinful anger. And if you cannot control it on your own, seek help through counseling or by attending an anger management class. It will help change your life!

Holy Spirit, please give us your power and self-control to get rid of our sinful anger. Shine through us with the gentleness, kindness, and wisdom you want in us. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!