…Let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. — Ephesians 4:26,27
Have you ever gone to bed sizzling with anger about what someone did or didn’t do or about what someone said or didn’t say? If you think about it, you’ll realize that this last phrase pretty well summarizes the primary reasons people get offended, insulted, irritated, or upset. Isn’t it true that people’s various responses or lack of responses in a given situation can send you to bed fuming if you allow yourself to take offense and get all worked up?
I have to admit that I’ve gone to bed angry on more than one occasion. How about you? Have you ever tossed and turned this way and that way, unable to sleep, because you were aggravated about something that happened? Did you become more and more angry the longer you thought about that issue?
Ephesians 4:26,27 warns us, “...Let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” The word “wrath” is the Greek word parorgismos, a compound of the words para and orgidzo. The word para means alongside, as in something that is very close to you. The word orgidzo is the Greek word for wrath, which depicts someone whose mood is so upset that he becomes completely bent out of shape over some issue.
When orgidzo (“wrath”) is operating in an individual, it often starts as silent resentment. That resentment slowly builds up inside the person, becoming stronger and stronger until one day, it finally explodes in rage! And because the resentment has simmered silently for so long, the outburst of explosive wrath is usually way out of proportion to the situation that caused the anger in the first place.
But when these two words are joined together, forming the word parorgismos, it presents the image of a person who brings anger to his side and then embraces it. Instead of rejecting anger or pushing it away when it shows up, this person draws anger to himself and then nurses it, nourishes it, feeds it, and holds it close. The aggravating issue gets “under his skin” and soon becomes so entrenched in him that it becomes his constant companion and partner. He takes the offense with him wherever he goes — and that includes taking it to bed with him!
When a person goes to bed sizzling over something that has inwardly angered him, the entire night becomes an opportunity for the devil to work inside his mind and emotions. As soon as the person’s head hits the pillow, the devil begins to bombard his mind to prevent him from sleeping and to stir up his anger even more.
Remember, the name “devil” is the Greek word diabolos. This word diabolos is derived from two Greek words: dia, which means through, as when referring to penetrating something all the way through; and ballo, which means to throw. When these words are put together to form the word diabolos, it paints a vivid picture of the devil as one who repetitiously throws accusations at the mind — striking again and again until he ultimately penetrates the mind with his slanderous lies and relationship-destroying insinuations.
But the devil likes to look for the most advantageous times to strike your mind with his lies — and one of his favorite times to do this is when you go to bed at night. That is why Paul urges you, “…Let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”
The word “place” is the Greek word topos, a Greek word that describes a specific place, like a real geographical place on a map. The word topos is where we get the term for a topographical map. This is very important, for it tells us that the devil is seeking a specific place, an entry point, through which he can enter our minds and emotions to stir up trouble and affect our relationships.
So don’t go to bed angry and let your mind become a movie screen on which the devil can portray every foul thing he wants you to meditate on all night long. That only allows the enemy to steal your peace and infuriate you even further. Why not instead deal with that anger or unforgiveness before your head ever hits the pillow? Do everything you can to stay free of anger, wrath, and strife, for these fleshly emotions are the entry points the devil uses to wage war in your mind.
If you find that you can’t deal with this problem by yourself, talk to your spouse or call a friend and ask that person if you can talk and share something that has been weighing heavily on your heart. Ask him or her to listen to you and to help you see things in a better light. You may be surprised to find that a different set of eyes sees the situation very differently than you do. And as you listen to a different side of the story, it may even help you release the offense that angered you so you can put the entire issue to rest forever.
But whether or not you decide to talk to a friend about the matter, one thing is for sure: If something or someone has upset or offended you, you will only make matters much worse if you let yourself go to bed angry!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I am sorry for the times I’ve allowed my anger to rise up and take control of me. I realize that I have no excuse, for the Spirit of God inside me is present to restrain me and to produce the fruit of the Spirit in me. I now see that I have opened the door to the devil in the past by allowing wrong attitudes to be pervasive in my life. I want to shut the door to the devil so he can no longer find access to me, to my family, to my business, to my church, or to any part of my life. To shut that door tight, I am asking You to help me remove uncontrolled anger from my life!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that the Holy Spirit is producing His fruit in me and my character. I am filled with the mind of Christ; therefore, anger and temperamental outbursts have no place in me. I am self-controlled, patient, and kind. When others do or say something to me that is wrong or unjust, I respond in the spirit of Jesus Christ. I refuse to allow offense to gain a foothold in my mind. I am determined to keep the door shut so the devil can no longer gain access to my life!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ANSWER
1. Have you ever noticed that bad things happen when you get upset or lose your temper? It would be worth your time to seriously ponder this question today.
2. Can you think of five times in your life when something bad happened as you were allowing anger and strife to get the best of you?
3. What steps should you take to make sure your anger doesn’t continue opening a door for the devil to send his attacks into your life?