Ephesians 4:25-5:2: Angry

Greetings Earthlings!

I wrote this post while up at Splash Lagoon on our Middle School retreat, but we had a severe lack of internet access, so I'll save it and actually upload it when we get home.

Have you ever had a student do something to make you so angry that you couldn't breathe anymore? We once caught a couple of kids smoking pot in our parking lot during a kickoff event. I remember bringing them to my office, probably red in the face, and shaking uncontrollably. I don't know that I've ever been so angry.

There have been smaller offenses over the years. Those times that the boys won't go to sleep. Those times that the pranks get a little bit out of hand. Those times that no one has the obvious answer during a bible study. If we're honest, they make us a little bit angry. But what are we to do with that anger?

Paul writes that we should actually get angry, so long as we do so without diving into sin. I think the reason that we get so upset at our students sometimes is that we realize that they're capable of so much more than they're offering up. But in this passage, we learn a little bit about how to best manage our anger.

Don't let the sun go down on your anger- This one is basically universal to all avenues of our lives. Going to bed angry sucks. Plus, you'll probably not be able to sleep. Plus there's an awkward situation over coffee, and coffee should never be awkward!

Let no evil talk come out of your mouth- It's ok to be angry, but sometimes when we're angry we say things that should never be said. We aren't thinking, because our brain has likely been essentially short circuited. Sometimes it's just best to walk away, and save your thoughts for another time when you're more chilled.

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God- This is kind of a mysterious verse, and a lot of people have been trying to determine the precise meaning. Thinking through this particular situation, and how to deal with anger, I wonder if it means that we as messengers of God's word need to be a little more careful with how we use the Spirit's resources? I wonder if we shouldn't waste the Spirit's time when we could easily resolve our own conflicts.

So get angry, but don't be dumb about it!

Tomorrow, 5:3-20