October 3

Ephesians 4:26-27, 31 26"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.

31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Anger can be a warning to us that something is wrong in our heart. Like a warning light on the dashboard of our car, it means to stop and check inside to see what is going on. Often times our pride has been wounded. Good! Exalting self above others needs to be more than wounded; it needs to die on the cross.

It may take some time to get down to the real problem. It may be deep-seated issues of receiving the anger of others, a sense of unfairness, or any number of other issues. Once we find the cause, we must deal with it in accordance with the new nature in us. Our renewed way of thinking must examine that issue in the light of truth. This does not mean it will immediately go away, but that we learn how to look at the issue in a new light.

It is important not to let anger go unchecked. That gives the devil a foothold. It can turn into bitterness, rage, brawling, slander and every form of malice. If any of these would characterize how you feel or behave toward another, the devil has a foothold in your life. That grieves the Holy Spirit. He is not comfortable dwelling in you when you allow this behavior to remain. You are not exemplifying the life of Christ, but that of the world.

God's solution is to get rid of it. It is the simple and obvious answer, but it is only possible when we surrender to the love of Christ. Remember how He forgave you for worse offenses than the party that has made you angry. Look deeply into His love and grace and know that He wants to express that same grace through you. That does not mean that you have to trust or enable that person to harm you or others again, but it does mean your attitude of bitterness must go. This change is nothing short of a miracle. God will do it in you if you are willing. The Greek verb tense implies this is done at a point in time and remains done. Get rid of it! Don't go on grieving the Spirit. He will help you.

Remember: If your warning light is on, deal with the problem.