Paul uses anger here but he could have just as easily used any emotion. In your fear do not sin. In your joy do not sin. In your ____________, you fill in the blank, do not sin! Emotions are given to us by God to feel and express. They are not to be avoided or feared but understood and communicated in healthy, life giving ways.
We are also not to hold onto and harbor those feelings that lead us to sin. We need to deal with the truth about what we are feeling. Paul says in verse 25 “each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor”. That’s how he leads into the above verses. We are to speak the truth in love. It is when I hold back the truth that the devil has an opportunity to use that emotion against me and those closest to me. I have to own my truth before God and others asking for forgiveness and understanding at times, or confronting in love what needs to be pointed out. But the worst thing you can do is keep silent. I used to think keeping my mouth shut made me superior to others who were “unable” to just let it go. How wrong was I! All my silence did was internalize my judgments and further ingrain my self-righteous attitudes. It also never helped anyone else grow or become stronger in their faith, including me.
The pattern is clear. Speak the truth. Do not sin. Don’t hold onto it. Is there something that you need to apply this pattern to in your life? Take care of it ASAP!