Is it unsuitable to be offended with God?
We all know what it's like to be angry, Don’t we?
The feeling of anger is as common in mankind as sadness, love and happiness. From the day we were born, we never had to learn how to express our anger – it just came out. Even if you are not as "angry person, ”everyone sometimes experiences anger.
In fact, the Bible tells us that Jesus even felt in trouble! For example, in John 2 we see a page of Jesus that makes us a little uncomfortable because he was so zealous for the house of God that he made a string out of some strings to a few animals and the people who sell them to drive out in the temple. Then he turned her tables over and spilled her money on the floor.
The word "zeal”It means everything from excitement to wildness and indignation. Given how his zeal "consumes him, I think we can say that he was a little more on the "angry side than just "excited."
Later in John 11 we read about Jesus’ Response to the death of his friend Lazarus. While the passage does not say that Jesus was necessarily angry, we see that he mourned so intensely that he (God in the flesh) actually did cried.
The sentences that describe Jesus’ The grief in this passage shows a feeling of great pain, deep movement, spiritual moaning and emotional fear, which the Vine & # 39; s Expository Dictionary represents as a horse "snorting with anger. "
While the feeling of anger is a natural reaction and is even seen in Jesus Himself, it means that it is not a sin in itself. This leads us to a question that many Christians wonder about: is it wrong to be angry with God?
To formulate the answer to this question, we need to understand three realities about the emotions of anger that shed light on whether or not it is wrong to be angry with God.
1. Our anger is a window in our soul
When we react to a situation with anger, a light is shed on what we value and consider right and wrong. On the other hand, if something does not cause anger, we can conclude that it is not something that we appreciate so much.
When a situation turns out to be different from what we think, it naturally causes emotional friction in us, which is expressed in frustration, disappointment, anger and anger. A child gets angry because he thought he should have had a dessert.
A teenager gets angry when he thinks his girlfriend is treating her unfairly. An adult becomes angry when someone or something he loves is taken away. In the example of John 2 earlier, Jesus was angry because he had a high value from God’s house and knew that what was happening was wrong.
So if we are angry with God, it shows that we believe that God is unfair or has done something to us.
The best example of this is King David in 2 Samuel 6, when one of his men, Uzzah, was killed by God for touching the ark to try to stabilize it when the oxen that carried it stumbled.
As a result, David was not only wrongly upset with God, but also brought him to an unhelpful fear of God’s anger that causes God to be missed’s presence and blessing in Jerusalem for three months.
We can also read something from David’s deplores God in the Book of Psalms, for example when he cries: “How long, Lord? Will you forget me? "(Psalm 13: 1-6). David wrongly assumed that God had left him or forgotten, which led to anger against him.
So if we are angry with God, we must honestly ask ourselves what beliefs we have about God that are not in Scripture, are not true, and are not helpful.
2. What we do with our anger is more important than feeling it
While our anger may be a more subconscious emotional response, the way we respond consciously determines whether it is sin or not. That is why Paul said this to the believers in Ephesus "Be angry and do not sin … ”(Ephesians 4:26).
We all know that nothing good comes from anger (or emotion) that is either out of control or remains in bottles. That's why parents teach their children how to calm down and deal with their anger in a healthy way.
That is why James also instructs us to "hear quickly, speak slowly, be angry slowly" (James 1:19). Because it is not our anger itself that hurts others, we respond to the feeling with our words, attitudes and actions.
In Numbers 20, Moses was so angry with the Hebrews for their rebellion and lack of faith that he struck twice on a rock that God had only told him to knock. Interestingly, although Moses' furious disobedience was still effective in producing water from the rock.
God punished Moses for his sinful acts by saying: "… Because you did not believe in me to keep me holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, you should not bring this assembly to the country that I gave them ”(Numbers 20:12).
Even if our anger against God is misplaced, it only becomes sin if we respond sinfully – by cursing God, becoming bitter, getting lost in our relationship with Him, hurting others, or simply walking in disobedience.
This leads to the ultimate reality of our anger.
3. A mature believer will not remain angry
Instead of reacting in a sinful manner in their anger, a mature person will consider why they are angry and work to curb, control and even let go of their anger. Being serious, aggressive and motivated is sometimes appropriate and effective, but acting or being controlled by our anger does not lead to healthy results. James even says that "man's wrath does not bring about God's righteousness …" (James 1:20).
Paul goes so far as to say that if we are angry with a brother or sister in Christ, that "… now is the time to get rid of anger … and forgive anyone who insults you. Remember, the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive others ”(Colossians 3: 8-13).
So if we are angry with God, how much more should we find and let go of the root cause in our hearts. I don't think God is mad at us when we are angry with him. I think he is personable and compassionate.
When my own children get angry with me, I want to know how they feel – not so that I can reprimand them – but in my pity I can help them understand why I made the decision I made , and knowing that I love you.
How much more would God, our heavenly Father, show us mercy! In response to a similar question, John Piper said that hiding our anger from an omniscient God, rather than just honestly confessing it, only makes matters worse. Because then our hypocrisy and deception will build up bitterness instead of leading to repentance, devotion and ultimately worship.
In the plaintive psalms in which David appears to be frustrated or even upset with God, he always responds with praise and gratitude instead of bitterness. For example, in Psalm 13: 5-6 we read: "But I trusted in your steadfast love; My heart will be happy about your salvation. "Or in Psalm 42, after asking himself a thoughtful question:" Why are you depressed, my soul, and why are you in me in turmoil? "David replies with" Hope in God; for I will praise him again, my salvation and my God ”(Psalm 42:11).
What has changed in David?’s heart? Not only did he let go of his feelings of anger towards God, but he also let go of his beliefs about God that were not helpful, out of scripture, untrue and misplaced. Instead, he admitted a general sentence in Scripture that God is "merciful and gracious … slow with anger … and rich in constant love "(Psalm 86:15, 103: 8, 145: 8; Exodus 34: 6; Number 14:18; Nehemiah 9:17).
What does that mean?
While we may not sin when we feel anger against God, we need to use the emotions to make ourselves look into our souls, to discover a false belief, to surrender it to God, and then turn around and turn to God for it praise how he is always good and what he does is always right, for his honor and for our own good. Let our anger drive us to a deeper love.
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Robert Hampshire is the senior pastor of the village church in Churchville, Virginia. He has been married to Rebecca since 2008 and has three children, Brooklyn, Bryson and Abram. Robert attended North Greenville University in South Carolina for his bachelor's degree and Liberty University in Virginia for his master's. He has served in various roles as a worship pastor, youth pastor, family pastor and now as a pastor. He promotes his service through his blog site Pastoring a Village: Sermons, Thoughts, Devos. His goal in life is to serve God and his church by reaching the lost with the gospel, making devoted disciples, equipping and empowering others to continue in their faith and calling, and leading a culture of multiplication to the glory of God. Find out more about him here.