Did you know that God likes it when we are angry with him? For I wish that you were either hot or cold, but you are lukewarm, so I will vomit you out of my mouth. Read Jeremiah 20. Even Jonah was mad at God for not obliterating his enemies. God still listened and talked with him and helped him deal with his feelings by sending him an object lesson.
I had a friend go on and on about how their son had suddenly fallen dead of a brain aneurism in the prime of life. They weren’t talking with God about it but just complaining about him to anyone who would listen.
You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.Leviticus 19:17
Realizing that they were angry with God and that being angry with him was just fine, I suggested they write a letter to God and voice their complaints (as Jeremiah did). My friend loudly proclaimed that they weren’t angry. Then they proceeded to never talk with me again. They would probably have loudly proclaimed that they weren’t angry with me either.
God wants me to be head over heels in love with him, as he is with me, or to honestly set out my reasons why I’m not happy with him. He then wants me to listen to him as he answers my concerns, speaking into my spirit through his Word, through life experiences, or through other Christians.
In Malachi 3:13-16, some people were angry at God because they believed they had done their part and God hadn’t come through. Your words are strong against me, God said. But others got together with fellow believers regularly and talked honestly about difficult life situations. They did not fall into the trap of being angry at God while denying that they were.
How can I tell if I am angry with God?
- If there is anyone I remain angry with — then I hate God, for how can I say that I love an invisible God and hate my brother whom I do see? (I John 4:20)
- If God is not in all my thoughts but is an occasional focus on Sunday — I hate God and am taking his name in vain, treating God as if he is not relevant to everything. (Psalm 10:4)
- If I complain about the things I can’t change about myself — I hate God.
- If I complain about what I can’t control in the world around me — I hate God
- If I invent my own God (e.g. “My god wouldn’t send anyone to hell”) — I hate the God that is.
- If I ask over and over why God allowed something to happen — I hate God.
In fact, if someone claims they have never been upset at the way God runs things, I question the reality of their walk with the God that is. If I am honest(a big if), I will experience God as if he is playing cat and mouse with me.
When I convince myself that I am not angry with God, deep down, I must believe that he is ignorant and doesn’t look at my heart and couldn’t handle my anger.
Sure God’s ways work for others but not for me I’m totally wiped out.Psalm 73:1
One of my frustrations with fellow Christians is that they are so fake. Fake smiles, fake “how are you,” fake singing words they clearly don’t listen to, fake honoring the Bible they don’t read and certainly don’t apply.
I guess it is OK for me to be bothered by fake love in myself and others because fake makes God want to puke! (Revelation 3:15,16)
Lord, help me to be real with you, but to take it up with you and not talk behind your back. Then let me listen to you. I will then find that you hear and that you will help me find you. Find that you are loving and kind despite the hard things you send my way. Amen.