- (By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
Perhaps you have heard the song that goes, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." Maybe the next verse should say, "If you're angry and you know it, talk to God." But what if I am angry at God? Then what? Now that's a good question.
People get mad at God all the time, and for a variety of reasons. It is extremely common, and we are all susceptible to such anger. Children have a natural rebellion which typically gets directed at parents. And all of us, regardless of age, have a natural inclination to rebel against our Creator. This tendency includes the ability to harbor anger at God.
Have you ever felt let down by God? Perhaps you have even felt like God didn't care about you? Maybe you have asked God to do something only to have the request denied? How did that make you feel? Some people in that situation feel like God is mad at them.
God was not angry with you when He created you. In fact, you were created to have a peaceful and enjoyable relationship with your Creator. But somewhere along the way, the spiritual wiring in each of us tends to get tangled up. On top of that internal confusion, children of every nation are given spiritual counterfeits instead of being led into the arms of our loving Savior. Why? Because when parents don't know the love of Christ, they cannot teach it and pass it on to their children.
Your personal family dynamics have a multifaceted impact upon your ability to own your anger at God. For example, are you someone who finds it relatively easy to share your feelings with your loved ones? Or is that transparence and personal sharing way out of your comfort zone? If you find it difficult to share your feelings with others, you probably struggle in talking to God about those things as well. In fact, it may be that you rarely if ever communicate with others on that level.
Bottled up anger is a killer not only in families and among friends, but also in spiritual matters. And while anger at God is common, it is nevertheless one of the most damaging things you can inflict upon your soul. It causes your spiritual sensitivities to shut down. When that happens, you can easily start to imagine things about God which are completely false. Only the love of God can melt the anger and correct the misconceptions and replace them with an accurate understanding of God's grace and mercy.
When you own your anger at God, you admit to Him and to yourself that the Lord is not responsible for your harsh and critical feelings. You recognize that you have chosen to hold a grudge against your Creator, and that your grudge is sinful and wrong. By confessing that sin to God, you place yourself in a position to receive His living water. This spiritual infusion refreshes the soul, and can turn a heavy heart into a place of peace and contentment.
No one experiences peace while living with bottled up anger. And the worst thing we can do is to direct our anger at God. After all, He is our only lifeline and our only means of being delivered from rage and bitterness. Why blame the One who can actually heal and fix you on the inside? The bottom line is that we are all broken individuals, and we all need our Creator to do His special work in our hearts. He does that by forgiving our sins, including our sin of holding a grudge against Him.
When you bring your sin to Jesus, you start to see that God is not mad at you even though you have perhaps been mad at Him. He is not holding it against you. For the sake of Christ and His death on the cross, the Father welcomes you into the family and into a place of acceptance and love.
Your sin was great, but God's love was greater. And by owning your sin of anger at God, you take a step in the direction of healing and change. No one wants to live life filled with anger. That grumpy and hostile attitude will only make you miserable. God has an abundant life for you if you will just reach out and receive it.
So what happened in your life to make you angry at God? What event or person got you started down that path? How many days and nights have you lived with that anger in your heart? The Lord says in His Word, "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." (Eph. 4:26)
It's time to gain a new attitude toward your Creator. Without respect and reverence for the Lord, you will never understand just how far your anger at God has driven you away from His "place of grace." It is only in that place of forgiveness and acceptance where you will feel good about God rather than "on edge" or even resentful toward Him.
Mark Twain said, "Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." If you are continually burning yourself with unrighteous anger, just remember that God has something much better to pour into the vessel of your soul. Living water washes away unrighteous anger. Nothing else has the power to do it.
Who knows? Today could be the day you begin to own your anger at God. Try telling Him how you feel. But remember to always approach Him reverently. He is God and you are His creation. And that is nothing to be mad about.