Faith Matters Column: Don’t let the sun go down on your anger

Pastor Greg Fraser calls for peace among all sides. Pastor Greg Fraser calls for peace among all sides.

by Pastor Greg Fraser, The Father’s House Christian Fellowship

“Don’t let the sun go down on your anger” is often said to people during times of conflict or relational difficulty. This little proverb is actually found in the Bible—in Ephesians 4:26. During pre-marriage counseling with couples, I will often end our sessions together with this information, highlighting it as the most important piece of advice that I am going to give them. ”Don’t let the sun go down on your anger!” I say, adding for humour, “By all means stay up and fight!” That might sound funny, but when we are in a relational battle there is often very little in the conflict to make us chuckle.

Conflicts with others often cause anger to flare up. It is a natural response to upsetting situations. But the advice that precedes this quote from the Bible is the key: it says, “In your anger don’t sin!” What does that mean? Basically it means this: don’t let anger lead your responses. When we argue, in the moment of anger we can end up making the best speech we will ever regret!
Why should we deal with anger as soon as possible?

Anger, allowed to fester, often mutates into something far uglier. Too often, the longer we ponder and rehearse a circumstance that made us angry, the anger, and its side-effects, can grow bigger than the issue that gave them birth. “Turned outward it can become hatred. Turned inward it can become depression.”

Dealing with anger promptly allows us to get on with life sooner rather than later. Regrets and grudges that arise from unresolved issues put our relationships and the business of life on hold. How much of our productivity and peace of mind is halted by the roadblocks of unresolved anger?
None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Too many people regret the last angry words spoken to a loved one. Not letting the sun go down on our anger is committing to live a regret-free life in our relational world.

Relationships are vital to all of us. Wasting precious time on unresolved anger will rob us of the joy and peace that accompany healthy relationships. Be a person who commits to waking every morning with a clean interpersonal slate!
Greg Fraser

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  1. This is the fifth column Pastor Greg has done for the publication. It is the first we have put online. We can get you copies of the editions with the first four columns if you like.

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