In your anger do not sin Ephesians 4:26

In the summer of 2006 I was walking down the main street where I lived with Lesley. We would often go for evening walks after work. It was a great time of exercise, conversation and just being with my wife. One evening as we walked down the main street, enjoying our conversation, I felt a painful sting on the back of my leg, heard a voice call out from a car driving by and saw a man hanging out of a car window.

What I felt was an egg hitting my leg at high speed. It smashed and left me feeling sticky, smelly and very uncomfortable. Needless to say, I was not happy. In fact, I was angry! As we started walking back to our house, I was venting to Lesley about how rude and stupid it is to throw food at people. I lamented a lot about how much my leg hurt and I questioned why someone would do that to a stranger. But more than anything, I felt violated.

All these feelings changed when I noticed that the car that had “egged me”, was parked in the driveway we were walking past. The car was right in front of me. All of a sudden, I felt a sense of joy. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I told Lesley that I would come back and throw an egg on their car, NO, I would come back and throw a whole cartoon of eggs on their car. This made me feel better. I will show them I thought; let’s see how they like it I thought. I’m going to make them feel the same way as they made me feel.

And as I walked telling all this to Lesley (who was hesitant about my plan) the verse Ephesians 4:26 came into my mind. “In your anger do not sin.” That was not what I wanted to hear, so I ignored it and kept justifying to Lesley why they deserved to be taught a lesson and why I had the right to teach them. But the verse became more like a pin in my heart, “in your anger do not SIN!”. Finally, I spoke the verse out loud to Lesley. And by the time we got home I surrendered to God and never egged the car.

Friends, we all have moments where we are rightfully angry, where we want to react, but we must remember that the reaction must not involve sin (in my case, retaliation). Now, I am not sure how some of you are feeling in regard to the recent bishop election, but as followers of Jesus, let us love God and love others, being patient, gentle, kind, peaceful, and self-controlled to the glory of God’s name. We can have emotions yes, but we are not to sin in them. Let us humbly honour the one who in sovereign over all things, to the praise of his name. Amen.

Chris

 

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