July 28, 2024

Sleep and Anger

Ephesians 4:25-28

Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

—  Ephesians 4:26

Some good advice for getting regular rest includes having a consistent bedtime, engaging in a quiet activity before sleep, sleeping in a cool, dark room, and shutting off “blue lights” (our phones). The apostle Paul adds another timeless piece of wisdom: “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

In his letter to the Ephesians, after providing a deeply textured explanation of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, Paul describes how we should live daily in the light of God’s amazing grace. Among other things, Paul offers advice about dealing with anger. As creatures made in God’s image, we all have emotions, including anger (even Jesus got angry sometimes). Paul acknowledges anger and then urges us to deal with it in a godly way. He suggests that we deal with our anger quickly, perhaps by beginning to forgive as we have been forgiven, as he says in Colossians 3:13. Why? Because unresolved anger destroys our relationships with God and with others and can devour us alive.

When we are angry, we should acknowledge this strong emotion, perhaps take some deep breaths, ask God to help us calm down, and then commit ourselves to taking timely steps to resolve our anger. We’ll sleep better if we do.

Father, your just wrath for our sin and rebellion against you has been satisfied in Jesus. Help us, we pray, to forgive others as you have forgiven us. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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