Sunday, June 18, 2006


Ephesians 4:26, 27 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain
26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27Neither give place to the devil.

Most ministers I've heard say that this verse means if you are angry with someone make things right before you go to sleep, don't let your anger become sin. That is good advise for most of the quirky things husbands and wives, parents and children, siblings, friends, etc. get angry about and can possibly save a lot of grief or even your relationship with the person. But I'm not sure that's exactly what Paul meant. Could it be that he meant it this way: Be angry about evil and injustice and don't sin by not being angry about these things, don't let your anger against these things diminish. Don't let the devil have his way.

Paul had times in his life when he was angry and his anger certainly lasted more than a day. Galatians 2:11-21 indicates that Paul was angry with Peter for hypocricy and when Peter came to Antioch Paul confronted him about it. In Acts 15:36-41 Barnabus wanted to take John Mark along with Paul and him as they traveled from city to city to see how the converts were doing where they previously preached, Paul didn't want to take Mark because he had earlier left them in Pamphylia and didn't go to minister with them, the contention over the matter was so great that Paul and Barnabus parted company. Later, however, we learn that Paul found John Mark to be a great benefit to the work of God.

Jesus even got angry. He was so angry with the money-changers, that He threw over their tables and drove them from the Temple. He was angry with the Scribes and Pharisees and called them hypocrits and "whited sepulchres". His opinion didn't change at nightfall before He went to sleep. His anger had purpose and healing potential. His anger had the ability to make wrong things right.

There are things that we need to be angry about. We should be angry when a child is molested, or an elderly person is scammed. We should be angry when someone takes someone elses hard earned belongings, we should be angry at murder. We should be angry when an innocent person is found guilty of a crime they didn't commit, or a guilty person is found innocent. I'm still angry that a jury awarded a woman a huge sum of money because she spilled hot McDonald's coffee on herself. There are a lot of things we ought to be angry about.

Some anger can even cause positive changes. John Walsh was angry that his young son was murdered and now has a program called "America's Most Wanted" that has brought hundreds of criminals to justice. MADD (Mother's Against Drunk Drivers) was created because of a mother's anger against a drunk driver that killed her child. Rosa Parks was a tired black woman on a bus who became angry when a white man demanded her seat and she refused to give it to him, this act of defiance is said to have galvanized the civil rights movement and change this country. Many laws have been created or changed because someone was angry and did something positive about their anger.

This is a link to a site where you can look up scripture references in many different versions of the bible:

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