4Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.Psalm 4:4
26And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27for anger gives a foothold to the devil.Ephesians 4:26-27
The verse from psalms caught my eye the other night. I thought it so wise to hold one’s tongue overnight to allow the anger to subside and reason to take over. And then I remembered the verse from Pauls’ letter to Ephesus that referenced sin and anger.
Much to my surprise, I discovered Paul quoted the Psalm 4 admonition. Stopping short of the advice to think about it overnight, Paul said you shouldn’t let the sun go down while you are angry. It seems logical he meant “don’t sleep on it.”
So what does one do? Stay up all night or sleep on it and let the emotion die down?
A few years back, Dave and I were on vacation with another couple. One evening we went separate ways for dinner and, unbeknownst to us, they had a spat about something. The next morning we reunited for breakfast and our friends were a bit bleary eyed from lack of sleep. You see, they stayed up until they had it worked out.
It seems to me the important part of this admonition is “don’t sin.” Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Sometimes it is best to walk away and allow some time before working things out. Sometimes it is best to work it out right away.
How about you? Does anger have control of you? Is it gaining a foothold in your life, causing you to sin in what you say to others? How would some space of distance or time allow you to rethink your responses?