26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.
As Paul writes under the inspiration of the Spirit he recognizes that we are all going to experience things that anger us but it’s what we do with those emotions that signify our new self (talked about yesterday).
There’s a principle I had heard many moons ago which went something like “you can’t control the birds flying over but you can keep them from nesting in your hair.” This was something I learned in relation to lustful thoughts. However, the same stands true with many aspects in Christian living. Passing thoughts, passing emotions, or passing doubts are not sinful. Sinfulness is prompted when we allow the thoughts, emotions, or doubts to actual nest and make a home in our mind. Again we reflect back on 2 Corinthians 10:5 that tells us to take our thoughts captive. They may enter on their own free will but we can capture them and force them to obey God’s standards. It will be a struggle, it’s hard not to respond negatively in anger – especially if our habit is responding that way.
Additionally we are to fix problems today. We aren’t to wait until tomorrow to do something about the things of today. If we allow the sun to go down on our anger we are giving the offending party, and ourselves, massive room for our flesh to dwell on the issue. This leads to more and more bitterness about whatever happened and decreases the chance of us reconciling, or fixing, the situation.
Emotions are beneficial and can spark great change, yet they can also spark terrible sins. Just like sexual desire can foster a healthy marriage, it can also spark adultery. Emotions have no self contained righteousness or sinfulness. Instead, it is the actions performed in light of those emotions that demonstrate sinfulness or righteousness. So we are called to manicure or shape the response to our emotions.
Good things to know: our children (or just people) can grow angry as it demonstrates a natural understanding that something is gravely wrong (like Christ flipping tables in the temple in Matthew 21:12-13 and Mark 11:15-18). We are to teach them to control the responses to those emotions so that they do not sin.
Spend 1-2 minutes thanking God you have the ability to not walk in sin. Then spend 2-3 minutes asking God to train you in responding appropriately during those 2 second transitions from emotions to actions. Ask Him to help you hear Him speak when your emotions are high and you are inclined to just DO something.