“‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” — Ephesians 4:26-27
Many athletes eat well and exercise regularly to stay in optimal health and stay in the game. They try to avoid injuries that cause them to miss time. It is important to prevent health problems as much as possible. In a similar way, we need to do what we can to prevent sin. Even though we all sin sometimes and God can forgive us, we sin less if we plan ahead to stop sin before it starts.
In the Bible, the Lord warned Cain about his anger toward his brother, Abel, but Cain did not listen. “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’ Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him” (Genesis 4:6-8). If Cain had controlled his anger, he wouldn’t have murdered his brother. But he let his selfish anger rule over him.
We are all capable of doing terrible things if we do not learn to rely on God for strength to control ourselves. For example, King David almost killed a man in cold blood after Nabal disrespected him, but Nabal’s wife, Abigail, talked him out of it. “David said to Abigail, ‘Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands'” (1 Samuel 25:32-33).
It is natural to want to seek revenge when somebody insults us or harms us, but God calls us to live differently than the world. Everyone gets angry sometimes, but we need to be wise enough to not allow anger to push us to do things we regret. Therefore, we should deal with anger quickly to avoid problems. “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26-27).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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