Be wrathful, but do not sin

The other day I was at the Kingdom Hall and a friend of mine walked up to talk to me. We briefly talked about a difficult situation I am working through in my personal life and he could see that it was causing me some angst. Perhaps also through my words he could see I was in need of counsel. Well, it’s never fun to get but I am so glad this brother has a light touch, and follows his own advice! He reminded me of Ephesians 4. We started with what Paul wrote in verse 26:

Be wrathful, but do not sin; do not let the sun set while you are still angry;

Ephesians 4:26

This here was written by Paul and is a quote from Psalms 4:4 where we’re told “Be agitated, but do not sin”. So it is not wrong to feel anger. Both Jehovah and Jesus had showed anger at times, but their anger was always governed by righteousness and perfect judgement. I lack both of these traits! The admonition here is to not sin.

I was clearly angry about something, and had been for a few days now. It was bothering me and I just couldn’t shake it. This brother of mine could tell by my speech that I was still “hot around the collar” so to speak. Well, the bible says I can be wrathful, right? But did I let the sun set on my anger? And lastly, what’s the big deal if I’m angry about something that was done unjustly to me anyway? Well, let’s continue to verse 27:

do not give the Devil an opportunity

Ephesians 4:27

According to one bible study guide this phrase could also be translated to “neither allow place for the Devil”. This is a warning from Paul about the dangers of prolonged anger, or holding grudges. Do you want to allow a place in your heart for the Devil? I don’t.

Sometimes when I get counsel it stings, but one thing I’ve noticed is that I’m reminded that Jehovah saw fit to send a mature brother my way to talk to me. This brother didn’t know I needed counsel, he just talked to me and when discussing this trouble he could clearly see I was struggling. So he took the time to reason with me, to show me what the bible says and offer some words of encouragement. These things are reminders that Jehovah is still with me, that he still is providing me help. It’s comforting to know that he hasn’t given up on me! Sometimes I worry that my sins have distanced me from Jehovah, but then I’m reminded that he is still working to help me and I find comfort.

Alas, feel good now but the counsel is not over! Skip down a couple verses to verse 29 and we read the following:

Let a rotten word not come out of your mouth, but only what is good for building up as the need may be, to impart what is beneficial to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29

Here the words used really add meaning to what is being said here. “Let a rotten word not come out of your mouth” – Is there any question what this means? Not to me. And then followed up by what should come out of your mouth: “but only what is good for building up as the need may be, to impart what is beneficial to the hearers.” Paul is telling us that what should come out of our mouth is only what is good for building up, to be beneficial to the hearers. Oh miserable man that I am! Even if what comes out of your mouth is the truth, does it build up? Is it beneficial? That is the message Paul gave us, and this miserable man once again fell short.

Thankfully, Jehovah knows how to forgive in a big way and because of this forgiveness we can feel comforted knowing that when we recognize our shortcomings, ask Jehovah for forgiveness and try our best next time that we are making Jehovah happy. The Christian Congregation is a true blessing, and I am thankful to Jehovah, and to my friend who shared some love with me.

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