Thought for the week
‘Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.’ (Ephesians 4.26-27) ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Romans 12.21) There’s plenty in the world to get angry about. How we respond to our own anger or that of others makes the difference between letting God work through us or perpetuating the evil. Many will know the saying: ‘If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.’ Lawyer and civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman came up with a similar vivid image: ‘You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.’ We might not usually choose to be compared to fleas, or perhaps midges, mosquitoes, or clegs, but if we’re biting in the right place then our anger will be like that which Jesus expressed in the temple all those years ago. Whether it’s between individuals or at evil in its many forms, anger can be constructive. But it is sound advice not to let the sun go down on it. We may have to face the same issues in the morning but we’ll sleep better if we end the day giving thanks for something, being joyful about something, reaching out in some way, apologising if appropriate, celebrating the genuine good that is out there too. The last word may not mean everything is solved but it holds out love and hope. Whatever the next day brings, we’ll know the last one ended as well as it could have.