“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. -Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV
One of my favorite pastimes growing up was climbing trees. I had a few favorite trees that I was comfortable in, and would climb regularly. And then I had those trees that were like Mt. Everest; those I desperately wanted to conquer because of their height and difficulty. The hardest trees to climb were those that had no foothold near the base. If the tree was small, I could just pull myself up like any person climbing a flag pole. But if the tree was thick, it was near impossible.
One day I was prowling around the woods seeking a tree to conquer. I found a large tree that had no foothold near the base. But it did have a tantalizing branch hanging ten feet in the air. I was not blessed with the gift of great height. I have never been able to dunk a full size basketball on a 10’ rim. But if I head towards an object like a wall and jump at just the right time, I can run up the wall a step or two and then spring off to get a greater height.
I looked up at the ten foot branch and decided I would run up the tree and attempt to grab hold of it. I backed away, got a running start, and vaulted myself off the trunk. My hand grasped the branch and I held tight. Because of the way I sprang off the tree, I had grabbed the branch about two feet out from the trunk. I pulled both my legs up so that my back was parallel with the ground, and that’s when the inevitable happened. The branch snapped clean off and I plummeted to the ground back first. I landed on a root that lay exposed on the surface. I gasped for air as the wind was knocked from me. As the moments passed, my lungs finally relaxed and I was able to breathe again. I was still clutching the now broken branch that had not supported my weight. The tree had been hurt. But it had not been conquered, and would in time be stronger for my affliction.
Anger gives the devil a foothold to scale and conquer your life. If your anger goes to bed with you and carries over another day, a nub begins to grow at the base of your tree. The more anger is allowed to fester in your heart, the larger and stronger the nub gets. The devil is prowling around in the forest of the Christian. He is looking for nubs of anger at the base of trees so he can gain a foothold to conquer and destroy. Christian, do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Repent and be restored so you will not be conquered another day!