In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26
The reality is, just about everyone has been hurt by someone whose anger was out of control. But not only have we been hurt, we have hurt others. The Ephesians 4:26 meaning is one that we should lean into because it gives us a better way to live.
These words written by the Apostle Paul offer us some practical instruction on what to do when anger is welling up inside of us. I think it’s a message that will help you better control your temper.
The Context Of Ephesians 4:26
The book of Ephesians was written by the Apostle Paul as a letter to the church in Ephesus. Throughout this letter Paul is addressing problems within the church and encouraging them to follow Jesus.
In Chapter 4 Paul is urging his readers to live a life worthy of their calling (Ephesians 4:1). This church is drifting back into their old ways and habits rather than living in the new life that Jesus has provided.
Throughout this chapter Paul continually uses the word “new” and contrasts it with “old.” In Ephesians 4:22-24 Paul is showing that the characteristics of the old are different than that of the new. And followers of Jesus ought to stand out from the rest of the world.
This leads Paul to give a list of behaviors that do not belong in a Christian’s life for the rest of this chapter. From lying to unwholesome talk to how we work, Paul gives a long list of examples in Ephesians 4:25-32.
In the middle of this list we find this verse about what to do in our anger. So, let’s dive in the Ephesians 4:26 meaning and see what it holds for us today.
The Ephesians 4:26 Meaning
While this verse is only 18 words long, Paul packs a lot of truth into these few words. And what’s incredible about the Ephesians 4:26 meaning is how practical it is for our everyday lives.
To help us better understand what this verse means, we are going to break it down into two sections.
In Your Anger Do Not Sin…
The first thing we need to take note of is that anger is not sinful in itself. Becoming angry is not a sin, in fact there are things that SHOULD make us angry. Notice the Bible isn’t telling us, “Never get angry.”
Instead, Paul is saying when (not if) you get angry do not sin.
If we aren’t careful our anger can get out of control, and we can lash out in inappropriate and harmful ways. In other words, we sin when we let our anger control us.
We will all feel angry at times. The call of Christians is to control the anger. To not let our anger hurt those around us or lead us astray from what God has called us to do.
Do Not Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger…
To further drive this home Paul gives an illustration, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
This is a figure of speech that Paul uses to express how urgently we should deal with anger.
Dr Tom Constable says it this way, “Letting the sun go down on one’s wrath is a figure of speech that emphasizes the need to deal with sin soon (Deuteronomy 24:13-15). That we need not take it literally should be clear since the sun does not literally set on one’s anger since anger is not a physical object.”
Paul is warning his readers about the danger of letting anger stick around. If we do that it will fester and grow. We will become bitter and hateful and it will hurt our relationships.
We shouldn’t let the sun go down on our anger because then anger and bitterness can grow. If left unchecked our anger leads us away from God.
3 Lessons From The Ephesians 4:26 Meaning
The effects of uncontrolled anger are all around us. Many of us bare the scars and have caused a few of our own. This simple verse is a powerful reminder for us to stay in control of our anger.
I want to end by giving you 3 ways you can apply the Ephesians 4:26 meaning to your life.
1. Control Your Anger
Again, anger isn’t a sin, uncontrolled anger is. In Galatians 5:22 Paul tells us that one of the fruits of the spirit is self-control. As we follow Jesus he begins working in our lives to produce these fruits. It’s our responsibility to listen and yield.
The next time you feel anger welling up, step back pray and reflect on this Bible verse. Maybe even remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes so you can focus.
Self-control takes time to develop. It won’t magically appear over night. But over time, with prayer and the support of others, you can gain control of your temper.
2. Seek Forgiveness When Your Anger Gets The Best Of You
The reality is sometimes we will sometimes fail and our anger will get the best of us. In those times we need to confess our sin to God and seek forgiveness to those we wronged. When we seek healing we will find it, but when we pretend nothing happened, it festers and gets worse.
You might also like: 9 Powerful Truths About Forgiveness In The Bible
3. Don’t Wait
Remember the illustration in this passage, don’t let the sun go down on your anger. In other words, don’t delay. Deal with your anger and the people who were affected by it.
There’s a temptation we all face to excuse our anger. It wasn’t a big deal. They’ll move on. I won’t do it again. But those are lies; we must be diligent in seeking forgiveness from those whom we have harmed.
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Thank you for reading this blog post! I hope it helped you better understand the Ephesians 4:26 meaning. If it did would you share it with a friend?
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