(Ephesians 4:26) “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
What does this verse really mean? I’ve heard so many explanations over the years that I think most people know how to apply the verse before they totally get the full meaning. It may be applied to husbands and wives, parents and children, and even friends. But I’ve seen so many Christians over the years who live in constant righteous indignation over the doctrine and actions of other Christians that I don’t think many take the time to think of this verse in light of their personal outrage.
Is it alright to be angry but tear down the name of another brother or sister in Christ? Is it alright to constantly ridicule the beliefs of others just because they may not know the Scriptures or have been raised in a system that has some doctrinal problems? Most of the time when we see someone living in daily outrage over the beliefs of others we are really seeing someone who is living in daily pride. Pride lifts up the heart over the pure motivation of seeing others come to more personal knowledge of Christ. Pride is sin.
Yes, there are times when I need to be angry over sin. But I think I need to be more outraged over my own sin first before I am angry over what others believe or do. If I hate the pride and self-righteous attitude of my own heart, I find less time to look around for a reason to be angry at other Christians. But when the time comes when I am personally outraged over someone else, I also need to remember that it needs to be settled quickly or else I will be consumed.
Renewed Thought – Am I angry enough at my own sin first?
(Luke 15:20) ”And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”
God’s love is empty of pride.
(Psalms 73:5-6) “They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.”
Some enjoy the reputation of living “larger than life.” We tend to say they live a “charmed” life. They seem to go through life without suffering the trials most people deal with everyday. In my observation, the wicked seem to live the most “charmed” life. They are seen in all the hottest new nightspots in town. They drive the most expensive cars and have the biggest houses. They are part of the “in-crowd.” Many godly Christians right now are sweating out whether they will continue to have a job this week. Meanwhile, those indulging in the worst sins have full bank accounts and could afford to go on vacation for a full year. Many godly Christians are kneeling at the bedside of sick children. Meanwhile, the most unrighteous and their children are pictured on the front covers of magazines without a single worry.
Lack of trouble in the lives of the wicked leads to pride. There comes a point where they believe they are “untouchable.” There is no concern for God or the future. Life is lived in the here and now. They wear their own sense of self around like a large necklace. They want everyone to notice who they are and the power they represent. Those who refuse to acknowledge them are despised. When they walk into a room, they have a presence.
This is the curse of living in the age of instant and constant celebrity. We are intrigued to look into the personal lives of the rich and famous. But we are led to feel inadequate in our own lives. We compensate by spending more time looking at the lives of those who have what we want. It becomes an endless spiral of indulging in a fantasy.
I am never told to live in my own presence. This is self-worship. God’s plan is for me to live in the knowledge and awareness of His constant presence. If I live honestly in acknowledgement of my identity, I know I could never live “larger than life.” This is the lie of worshipping the creature more than the Creator (Romans 1). The Lord alone is bigger than my own self-image. He alone is magnified beyond the scope of any life I could make for myself. The only presence I bring with me when I enter a room is His. He alone gives me self-esteem because I am not my own. As I live a life that does not seem to be “charmed,” I learn the trials and troubles of this life are dealt with by faith. This is the testimony to the world that no matter what happens to this child of God in this life, I will not be moved. I will trust in the Most High God.
Renewed Thought – Do I esteem myself because of who I see in the mirror or do I esteem myself in the light of Who I see in the Word of God?