Have you ever thought about how much energy it takes to be bitter or hold a grudge? We only have a certain amount of energy for each day. If we use it for the wrong purpose, if we focus on the negative or dwell on whoever hurt us, then we’re not going to have the energy we need for the right purposes. We’re not going to be able to make the best decisions or be as creative as we need to be. We’re not only doing ourselves a disservice, but we’re doing our family and friends a disservice, too.
As much as you may want to, you can’t control what other people say or do; you can only control yourself. If you focus on the actions of others and allow them to constantly upset you, then you are handing your peace over to them and giving away your power. The scripture says, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are angry.” The reason many people don’t have joy or enthusiasm is because they go to bed every night with anger and unforgiveness weighing them down. When you go to bed with a cluttered mind and focused on the negative, you wake up with the same negative emotions; not to mention, you probably won’t sleep very well, anyway! I heard a story about a couple who had a big fight and were still not talking to each other when they went to bed that night. Since the man didn’t want to give in first, he left his wife a note saying, “Wake me up at six o’clock in the morning.” The next morning, the man woke up at eight o’clock and was furious because he was so late. He was about to go find his wife and give her a piece of his mind when he noticed a note on his side of the bed that read, “It’s six o’clock; wake up.”
At one time or another, we have all faced the temptation to disconnect by giving someone the silent treatment or just going to bed angry. After being married to Joel for more than twenty-two years, I have learned neither of these approaches is the best way to handle a disagreement. You may not reach a resolution by the time the evening comes, but if you will learn how to agree to disagree and still be friends, you will enjoy your relationships a whole lot more and have peace in your home.
Remember, if you want to love your life and live it to the fullest, don’t let the sun go down on your anger. If you don’t have a solution to the issue, agree to disagree and focus on the importance of the relationship. Keep peace in your home and heart, and don’t give away your power!
And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26 NLT).