|Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)|
|26 Be angry, but don’t sin – don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger;New International Version (NIV)
26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
One verse, two slightly different nuances of meaning. The NIV translation. One important part of this verse is what comes after “while you are still angry”. Verse 27 reads, ‘and don’t give the devil a foothold.” After a fairly lengthy exhortation in the preceding passage to learn how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in unlearning the habit of saying whatever comes to our mind, learning how to deal with anger in a Godly way, not that it is expected that we won’t get angry after we have become followers of Christ, it’s how we behave when we do get angry that Paul is referring to He then ends these series of learning how to control our baser instincts, in this case, anger, lying, stealing, unwholesome speech. Finally he deals with the emotions that lead to the aforementioned behavior
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ‘GIVE THE DEVIL A FOOTHOLD’?
A foothold is defined in the dictionary as a ‘secure position, especially a firm basis for further development:
They gained a foothold in the New York market before beginning their national campaign.
How do we get free from spiritual footholds? In one word, obey. If our issue is anger it will take a lot of grace and the decision to, by obedience, take the devil’s foothold away. Reread Ephesians 4:26…….read the thoughts before it and finish out the chapter. This was an actual letter to actual people and it makes much more sense when read in context. If we just pick out passages of scripture to prove our point, the Bible is no longer our standard of faith and practice, we are. (yikes!) So ask God to give you strength, the Holy Spirit is our helper, but we will need to use our will also. God usually does not wave a wand and fix everything. Where would be the learning in that.