Ephesians 4:26-27 – Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Anger and unforgiveness are both hindrances to one’s ability to hear the Holy Spirit. Anger either is a result of unforgiveness or leads to unforgiveness. It is one of the greatest hindrances to a believer being able to hear clearly from the Spirit of God. Paul makes room for the human emotion of anger. God gets angry. Jesus expressed anger at the unbelieving religious leaders He encountered. He never gave way to His own emotions, but expressed His Father’s view of those hardened leaders.
Paul says, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” I call this “keeping short accounts.” Sin creeps in and settles in one’s heart if not dealt with quickly. Anger at another is one of the most common ways for this to happen.
Jesus addresses the issues of unforgiveness in Matthew 18:23-35. He shares the story of a king forgiving one of his servants a large debt he owed. That same servant did not forgive a fellow servant who owed him only a fraction of what he was forgiven. The wicked servant had his fellow servant thrown in jail until he paid the whole debt. When the king heard what had happened, he summoned that wicked servant. The king sentenced him to jail as the wicked servant had done to his fellow servant.
In Verse 35 it states, “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:35). Anger and unforgiveness gives the enemy access to our mind and heart. When the enemy begins to affect our emotions, we become dull of hearing the Spirit of God and we find ourselves being directed by our feelings and natural reasoning rather than by the Holy Spirit. We become our own authority in the affairs of our lives and the Holy Spirit loses His rightful place of control and guidance. The enemy has put many of God’s people into prison because of anger and unforgiveness that remains in their hearts.
The Lord wants to speak to us and lead us in the way of righteousness. Let Him reveal to you any anger and unforgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you each day to keep short accounts with others. Do not let the sun go down on any anger you may have.