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Daily Devotional Ephesians 4:25–32

Emotions play a significant role in our lives. They motivate us, connect us, and add meaning to our experiences. But emotions can also rise and fall like a roller-coaster ride. How can we be consistent in our love for God when our emotions may be out of control?

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.


In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul addresses our emotions, both negative and positive, and puts them in the context of our Christian walk. First, he explores the connection between emotions and actions. Paul instructs the Ephesian Christians to process their anger without acting in sin (v. 26). While there are times we may experience anger, believers have the Holy Spirit’s help not to hold on to it, lest we “give the devil a foothold” (v. 27). Anger, if left unchecked, often leads to other sins. But when given to God and tempered by the Spirit, anger will not turn into “bitterness” or “rage.” It will not result in the actions of “brawling” or “slander” or “malice” (v. 31).

Paul encouraged the Ephesian church to speak to one another with truth (v. 25) and edification (v. 29). Their relationships were to be characterized by kindness, compassion, and forgiveness—growing out of their own status as forgiven by Christ (v. 32). These are actions they could take, choices they could make, regardless of their emotion.

Finally, Paul’s teaching reaches a climax in chapter 5 with the command: “Follow God’s example” (see Eph. 5:1). Loving God fully means that we will seek to become like Him. We will pattern our life after His character. The motivation for this imitation is not fear, but love— both emotional and active. Paul affectionately calls his readers “dearly loved children,” and he reminds them of the ultimate loving action of Jesus sacrificing Himself on their behalf.

Go Deeper

Is it possible to experience anger and not act on it? How can loving God fully influence our emotional responses? What does that look like?

Pray with Us:

Jesus, by Your Holy Spirit, don’t let our out-of-check emotions influence our relationship with You and others. Help us to keep our anger in check and not act on it. May our emotions reflect our love for You.

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