And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. (NLT)
We all get angry at times. Some people blow up: their anger is like shrapnel which bursts around them, wounding both themselves and others in their indulgent desire to get things off their chests.
Others clam up: they figure it is wrong to show anger, must be nice and well mannered. And so they bury those feelings deep inside. Problem is that these feelings don’t go away. They fester inside and cause all sorts of physical and emotional problems for us. Yet others “displace” their anger. I am angry at my boss so I take it out on my family.
All unhealthy ways of dealing with the emotion. Better to take time to reflect on just what is causing the anger. It can be a profitable learning time. Better to figure out a safe way of expressing the anger so that we acknowledge it without harming others.
Not letting the sun go down on our anger involves dealing with it not ignoring it or letting it simmer. And dealing with it will include some reflection on its causes. Who knows, the anger may be legitimate and may lead to positive action. Anger at a particular evil can lead to action against that evil.
Learning from our anger can help us avoid blowing up or clamming up. We can instead grow up.