26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
It is one thing to exercise anger, but it is an entirely different thing to harbor that anger.
do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
The Christian is not to allow anger settle in his soul. Before we go to sleep in the evening, we need to examine ourselves to see if our anger is still brewing in our hearts. Is it starting to become an attitude of subjective anger? It is not Christian to take ongoing personal revenge on others. We need to quickly deal with any affront against us; otherwise, anger will get out of control.
The word “wrath” here is different than “angry” earlier in this verse. “Wrath” is a state of anger or being provoked. This compound word consists of two Greek words meaning anger and alongside. This is wrath that we carry alongside our everyday actions; it is deep-seated anger that has a settled orientation on our bearing to others.
The sun going down relates to the end of the day. One day is enough to expend anger; do not nurse your wrath. Do not sleep with it. If we allow wrath to go on for some time, then it will develop into an attitude.
Even with legitimate anger, it is best not to allow it to simmer in our souls. Otherwise, it will become an orientation toward others. That is why we must keep our anger to confined situations. Note that this passage does not say that you can be angry until sunset!
There is a time limit to objective anger.
Anger is proper if it stays within the bounds of justifiable anger. We personally need anger to function properly; the same is true with society. We cannot carry guilt over an anger that is valid.
Even when our anger is objective and just, we should not carry our ire for a long period of time. Nursing anger creates long-lasting problems such as holding grudges, embittered attitudes, deeply broken relationships, and so on. That is why we are not to allow the sun to go down upon our wrath.
Medicine as subscribed is good; an overdose of medicine is not good. Measured anger is good; uncontrolled anger is not good. Anger can merge into contempt and revenge. Hatred can take hold of a person with persistent anger.