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Tavern Talk #46: But what if I'm mad at God?

We are really good at blaming things on others. Children learn that skill at an early age. As adults, we might be a little more sophisticated when we do it, but often not. Rarely do we place blame where it is due, if it is due at all, and frequently God gets the brunt of our anger even though we may not even acknowledge that is what we are doing.

Churches are imperfect. They are made up of people who are imperfect. Why shouldn’t they be? Like individuals, some are better than others. But when they (churches or individuals within them) lose their God-focus, God-direction, and God-inspiration, the result is God-anger. Not God’s anger. Not anger from God but anger toward God. Because church is where people often experience God (as they should), and church is where they go to feel or improve that connection. When it is done wrong it can be particularly damaging and hurtful. That frustration, disappointment, anger, and resentment becomes associated with God. And it isn’t God’s fault.

On other occasions, we blame God for things that are our fault. When our goals, direction, and inspiration are something beyond what God wants – something inconsistent with those two principal commandments (love God and love your neighbor) -- we often find frustration, disappointment, and hurt. Of course, we don’t accept responsibility ourselves. And when we blame someone else, we tend to accuse God. And those aren’t God’s fault either.

And then there are those unexpected and inexplicable tragedies. The death of innocents. Life-ending illnesses. Natural disasters. But, big or small, when we can’t easily blame others, and we are too far removed for attribution, God’s gets the brunt of our feelings. If God is the master of the universe, the Alpha and Omega, the being that knows every grain of sand on this planet, and every hair on our head, why does he make these things happen? Or why does he allow them to?

Often, we don’t acknowledge that we hold that resentment toward God. In all these situations, we allow a wedge to be driven between us and God. That’s not fair to him, but certainly isn’t fair to us. We don’t need anything to come between us and the one entity that loves us unconditionally, who doesn’t hold a grudge, and who doesn’t resent our undue blame -- the one being that can provide us true comfort, boundless peace, and endless hope.

So what should we do? Acknowledge our misplaced anger, ask for forgiveness, forgive ourselves for feeling that way. And move on. Move on in God’s love.

Additional Reading:

Psalm 22

Jeremiah 20

Proverbs 45:24


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