In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Ephesians 4:26
Few things in this world eat away at you like unconfessed sin and unresolved conflict. Like a cancer deep in your bones, the longer it is left ignored and untreated the more it grows and spreads, infecting all parts of your body and soul. Though we have a remarkable ability to suppress and ignore our emotions, they never simply go away. The hurt and pain often rests just below the surface, ready at the most unexpected times to resurface in the form of angry outbursts, unexplained anxiety, and paralyzing fear.
The good news of God’s kingdom is that Jesus enters into the brokenness of our world and speaks life into all the places where death once reigned. And yet, so often due to our shame or lack of trust, we keep our wounds hidden, telling ourselves that they aren’t that bad or that we can heal them on our own.
When we see the goodness of God shown to us in Jesus, we encounter a purity and intensity of love that lets us lay down our weapons and the walls that we work so hard to keep up. We learn that his consuming fire isn’t a fire of anger or rage but is a purifying fire that desires to burn away all that is impure in our lives. He wants us to come out of the shadows, not so our shame and hurt can be exposed and ridiculed, but so that in the light of his love the darkness of our hearts can be driven out by his light.
If we do not trust that God is good and loving and able to heal the sickest parts of our souls, we will always struggle to freely and frequently confess our sins to him and to one another. When we let the sickness of sin grow untreated in our souls, we turn away from the healing balm of God’s Spirit and instead inflict wounds upon ourselves and upon others, often upon the people in our lives that are the dearest and most loved.
One of God’s greatest gifts for the regular treatment of the sickness of sin is the gift of confession. Take time every day to confess your sins to the Lord, trusting that he delights in showing mercy (Micah 7:18). Likewise, at the end of each day, consider anyone in your life that you have wounded or need to be reconciled with, as well as anyone who has wounded you that you can forgive and learn to see as the Lord sees. As St. Paul encourages us, keep short accounts, not letting the sun go down on your anger. When we do this, we are able at the end of each day to join our hearts and minds with the Psalmist who says, “in peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)
Prayer: Father, help us to so trust in your goodness and love that we no longer keep our sin and brokenness in the dark but instead daily step into your light and there find our healing and our hope.
Application: Do you have unconfessed sin in your heart towards God or another person that is allowing soul sickness to persist?
Related Readings: Prov. 18:12; John 8:34; Rom. 14:12; James 5:19-20
By Tripp Prince