Should you let the sun go down on your anger?

Padre Rosinski

Chaplain’s Corner

Padre Marcin Rosinski

“Let not the sun go down on your anger.”

What does that mean? How often do your quarrels end with quiet days? How many times have you promised yourself that you would reconcile before going to bed?

I have a suggestion for you.

Are quarrels needed?

Quarrels in every relationship are needed. It is thanks to them that we unload the growing tension, clean the atmosphere and try to confront our differences of opinion. But we must learn how to argue. How do you know when it’s time to end the conversation and wait until the next day for emotions to subside? The more we know each other, the more we are able to argue.

How to learn to quarrel?

Is there a pattern of quarrel that we could follow? Of course not. Every relationship has its own quarrel pattern, which we can modify if we want to. A few days after a difficult conversation, it is worthwhile to sit down and talk about what was difficult, what hurt us, and what showed us the truth about each other and our relationship.

It is worthwhile to analyze an argument and think about what we would like to change. Do we want to approach the problem the same way next time? It is good to tell each other what provokes us to say the words that hurt, or what is so difficult to deal with. This way the person on other side of the argument will be able to pay more attention to how they speak.

Should we be reconciled on the same day?

We all know the quote from Ephesians 4: 26: “Be angry and do not sin, let not the sun go down on your anger.” I have often wondered if it really is about reconciling on the same day.

There are situations that need time. We talk, we argue and when the emotions are too big, we stop the conversation, sleep on it and wait until the next day. For me, “the sun that does not go down” is not leaving the matter to itself. We cannot always solve it at once, it’s not always that the anger will go away the same day, but let’s remember that after thinking it over, we should go back to it calmly.

“The sun that does not go down” is a deal between us. We tell each other that for now we are unable to continue the conversation. We need to cool down, think, give ourselves time and determine when we want to come back to the subject again.

It’s hard, but we still love each other.

What can this reconciliation look like? When we stop the argument and give it some time, what is still important? Let’s try to find a gesture, a word that will be for us a clear sign of love that shows that despite the difficulty, we still love each other.

Maybe it will be a hug, maybe a gentle kiss on the forehead, maybe a hand grip, or maybe an ordinary admission: “It’s hard for me, but I love you.” Why do we need such a gesture? In order that “the sun does not go down on our anger”, that the situation that happened between us does not only end on anger, but on the reference to what really connects us.

During World Youth Day, Pope Francis said: “I always advise the newlyweds: fight as much as you like, let the plates fly, but never end the day without concord, agreement.” I’m not going to argue with that. I can only add: find your way and your time for agreement, adapted to your relationship.

marcin.rosinski@forces.gc.ca