You’ve doubtless heard the timeless advice, “Don’t go to bed angry.” Here it is, in a 2000 year old letter! Some advice never grows old, and in its timelessness, should be respected – and followed. But our reading continues with an admonition to not steal, but must do useful work. No news there; but then Paul gives the surprising reason: so that we will have the resources to help others who are in need! That’s a radically new way of thinking about our earning potential.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Almighty and All-Powerful Father, help me feel calm when I become angry. When pressure and conflict make me feel surrounded, remind me that I am surrounded by your presence. When you are with me I have no need to lash out in anger. Please remove my anger towards other people and replace it with trust in your provision and care. May confidence in your love replace any anger about my circumstances. When I feel angry due to unmet expectations, remind me that satisfaction can be found only in you. May the love of the Father, the grace of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit be with me today. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.