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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

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"Be angry but do not sin." Have you ever been hangry--so hungry you became angry? When we are hangry, there is not enough sugar in the brain, making us rather unpleasant. Only one thing cures "hanger": food.

Paul is talking about a different kind of anger, a spiritual anger--spanger, if you will: a combination of spirituality and anger. It's the kind of anger that emerges when things are not as God intended them to be. There is really only one thing that cures "spanger": the truth. This is the kind of anger that demands speaking truth to injustice, lies and corrupt power. There are moments and seasons of life that call for "spanger"--and for care that our anger does not turn into hatred. "Spanger" exists because we love the world God loves, and we desire this world to be the way God created it to be.

Lord, sometimes I get angry when I think about the way things are. Teach me to love, inspire me to speak truth and guide me in your way. Amen.

Joe Natwick '15
Associate Pastor, St. John Lutheran Church, Dickinson, N.D.

Ephesians 4:25–5:2 (NRSV)

25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.
26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27 and do not make room for the devil.
28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.
29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.
31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,
32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,
2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.