“In your anger do not sin”:

Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Eph. 4:26–27

Lord Jesus, I’ve learned the hard way to be careful about letting just anyone through our front door. There are certain “carpetbaggers” I wish I’d never let across the threshold. One toe into my home, one minute into their “pitch,” and I’m ready to usher them on their way. 1000 times more-so, I’m more careful than ever about letting devilish anger through the portal of my heart.

Of course, if the devil came knocking in a red jumpsuit with a three-pronged pitchfork in hand, I’d have no problem turning him away. Unfortunately, he usually comes in the backdoor, or through a window of my impatience, irritation, unforgiveness, or pride.

Jesus, help me and my friends steward the important emotion of anger. Some of us have experienced the destructive power of anger, shame, and rage. We don’t wish such a crushing of the spirit or demeaning of a heart on anyone. At the same time, we own the ways our sinful anger has hurt people we love.

You never tell us in your Word not to be angry, but in our anger to be careful not to sin. Jesus, help us with that. Help us be angry at the right time, for the right reasons, in the right way. Only you can melt the icy tension in our hearts.

Only you can change our rigidity into playfulness. Only you can redirect the wasted energy of unrighteous anger into patience and loving-kindness. Only you can “repurpose” our passive-aggressive anger into active-seeking encouragement. Only you can topple our idols of control and perfectionism with a greater sighting of your beauty and submission to your Spirit.

Right now, Jesus, we throw open every door and window of our hearts. Come in on this June Friday, and establish footholds of mercy, compassion, and kindness. We abandon ourselves to the riches of grace. So very Amen we pray, in your peerless and priceless name.