“Be angry, and do not sin” (Eph 4:26). Are we as Christians to really “be angry?” Commentators have sought to change the meaning of Eph 4:26 in order to accommodate the idea that anger is always sinful; but no matter how they might try to squirm out of it, one cannot escape the fact that the command of Eph 4:26 is that you be angry. Are we to think that Eph 4:26 permits outbursts of anger and ranting fits of rage associated with our carnal proneness to intemperance and vanity? God forbid! The new man, rather must be, as God Himself is, ‘slow to anger,’ remembering that ‘the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God'(Ja 1:20).
Paul exhorts us to be on our guard and act as censors of our anger, by qualifying the positive command with three negatives. First, do not sin (v. 26). We have to make sure that our anger is free from any injured pride, spite, personal animosity or any spirit of revenge. Secondly, do not let the sun go down on your wrath (v. 27). This instruction warns us against nursing anger. Just as a cigarette butt can start a destructive fire that devastates an entire community, it is never safe to allow the embers of anger to smolder, for they will always degenerate into destructive bitterness. So the day of anger should also be the day or reconciliation. Paul’s third qualification is that we give no opportunity to the devil (v. 27). Know that Satan lurks around angry people. He’s got you marked out – and he knows how to create just the right environment with just the right people to push your anger button; He hopes to exploit the situation to his own advantage by provoking you to hatred, violent speech, and even a breach of fellowship.