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Mad at God? Youíre not alone. Even saints in the Bible were mad at God! (Examples)
When, as they often do, Christians admit to me that they are angry at God, Iím delighted. I feel the relief doctors must feel when patients finally admit before itís too late that they have a suspicious lump. The affliction is not nearly as dangerous or as foolish as living in denial.
When angry at God, the rage feels highly justified. If God can do anything, will tell ourselves, then he should . . . (Fill in the blank.) If God is cold and uncaring or arrogant or selfish or abuses his power, he deserves our contempt. Heís clearly no better than we are.
Letís pause a moment to ask ourselves: could reality be a little more complex than we suppose? What if weíre still seeing the beginning of the movie and have yet to see all the twists and the unmasking of villains and secret plots? Have we been duped into jumping to conclusions before the surprise ending?
Is it over-simplistic to say God can do anything? No matter how much we rage in anger, it remains illogical Ė absurd, in fact Ė to suppose that infinite power could create a circle with straight sides, for example. The moment omnipotence forces straight sides on to a circle, it is no longer a circle. Likewise, not even with infinite ability could someone be moral and honest while at the same time cheating, lying and stealing. To act in love and integrity necessitates the voluntary limiting of omnipotence by refusing to do whatever is unloving or immoral.
If there is a God of love, consider this: you cannot fervently love someone without aching for that person to love you Ė especially if you know that person desperately needs you in his/her life. To deeply love someone means you could have everything else in the universe, and yet without that personís love you would still be heartbroken. To love is to make oneself so vulnerable that even having unlimited power could not help. Omnipotence could easily force someone to obey you. Or it could produce something like a Ďloveí potion, causing a person to be under the illusion of loving you. But genuine love can never be compelled. If it involves force or chemicals or mind-control or deceit or bribery it is a sham, and can never satisfy your yearning for that personís love.
If a man kidnapped a woman and raped and enslaved her, we would be appalled, no matter how much he claims to love her, wants her as his wife and is convinced he can make her happy. It would be an immoral abuse of power, regardless of whether he used physical force or threats Ė in which case she would be conscious of the violation of her rights Ė or if he used drugs or hypnotism so that she is unaware that what is happening is against her will. Real love respects the desires of the beloved, no matter how much it clashes with the loverís personal longings, and no matter how certain he is that the person would benefit from a lifelong intimacy with him.
So do you want an omnipotent God to abuse his power or act in love?
To be mad at God is as mad as angrily smashing your fist into a wall. It hurts you deeply.
Being mad at God is as mad as a little child so furious at his loving parents for not letting him drink poison that he runs away from home; having no conception of the dangers and deprivation he is exposing himself to. We understand Infinite Intelligence no more than a baby can understand its motherís decisions.
To be mad at God is as mad as being angry at an encyclopedia for always being right; as mad as being angry at a doctor for diagnosing your lump as cancerous and wanting to treat it; as mad as a drowning man fighting off his rescuer.
If we donít come to our senses, the consequences are more appalling than a surgeon mistakenly amputating the wrong limb; as a terrified mother confusing her child with an intruder and shooting to kill; as a disorientated bomber pilot sinking his own aircraft carrier.
Tragically, when we are reeling in pain, hurt and frustration we often get things so horribly wrong that we act like people too delirious with pain to realize they are fighting off the only person who cares enough to tend their wounds.
Arrogantly assuming we know the end of the story when weíre still on the first page, we blindly jump to conclusions when we only know a fraction of the facts and get things so wrong that we end up blaming the one person who is utterly innocent, treating as a sadistic torturer the only person who cares enough to tend our wounds, accusing of callousness the only one so moved by our plight that he weeps in secret; despising the person who has given us both his kidneys, and instigating a hate campaign against the sweetest person in the universe.
We can be so desperate for a scapegoat that we end up pouring all our contempt and blame on the only Person who is utterly innocent, truly cares for us and has the solutions we crave. The amazing thing is that this very Person actually volunteered to be our scapegoat.
The term ďscapegoatĒ has entered modern language via the Bible. In an annual religious ceremony, two innocent goats were chosen. One was killed for the peopleís sins. The sins of the entire nation were placed on the other. It was then driven into the wilderness; ostracized because of the peopleís sins. This peculiar custom was instituted by God himself to prepare the people for the fact that one day the Messiah would come, the innocent Son of God, and become the scapegoat for the sins of the entire world.
Claiming we know more than the only Person who has all the facts, and thinking ourselves more righteous than the Source of all morality might not be the smartest thing we have ever done. Anyone supposing he knows more than the one who knows everything, and that he is smarter than the one with infinite IQ, has set himself on a collision course with reality.
If we really think the one we can never hide from and who has the power to torment us for all eternity is cruel or heartless, why would we risk the fury of the Omnipotent One by raging against him? That he lets us get away with this shows that God is extraordinarily loving and patient. Astoundingly, it is this mind-blowing love and patience that not only lets us rage but is the reason for our rage. We foolishly want God to execute instant justice without stopping to realize that instant justice would have sent us to hell. Ironically, what infuriates us about God is the very thing we should be most grateful for. No, we should not be grateful for all the evil in this world Ė it grieves, hurts and infuriates God even more than it does us Ė but Godís decision to give time to repent rather than instantly executing justice is the very thing that has given us time to come to our senses before it is too late.
God is not some clinical observer. Our pain sends him reeling and it drove his eternal Son to the cross. We can rest in the certainty that God is good and absolutely righteous and has infinite love and infinite wisdom. He is always right because he alone has everything it takes to be always right.
If we imagine we have come up with something smarter and more loving and more righteous than God, it is because we have failed to grasp the full ramifications of what we have postulated. Thatís okay. We cannot be expected to equal God. We cannot hope to know all the complex chains of events sent skidding off in all directions and hurtling through time whenever the smallest thing is done. We can, however, be smart enough to realize our limitations and Godís perfections. We might not have great faith but we can have the intelligence to doubt ourselves enough to trust God more than we trust our own abilities.
One of the frustrating and often hurtful things about relating to humans is disagreements. Whenever I disagree with a human, one or both of us is wrong, but because we are both fallible it is unclear who is right, so unpleasant arguments can arise. I find relating to God a welcome relief from this frustration, since logic affirms that whenever I disagree with Infinite Intelligence I can know immediately who is right. With God I can live in peace, sparing myself all the pain and emotional energy of vainly trying to prove myself right.
Not everyone, however, has reached that blissful realization. Millions of us have engaged in fights with God. Very many people have confided in me, admitting to cussing God out and saying and thinking the vilest imaginable things to and about the Innocent and Perfect One. I am also in the privileged position of having many people who have suffered immensely, including large numbers of sexual abuse survivors, pouring their hearts out to me. For many of them, their suffering has fuelled bitter rows with God, some of which have not yet been fully resolved. Drawing upon my long years of intimacy with God and adding the deeply passionate and sometimes volatile experience with God that others have had, I can affirm with absolute certainty that even when we are being our most obnoxious, waving our fists at God and spitting cusses at him, he is still longing to cuddle and nurture us.
The staggering thing about God is that while we were still his enemies he loved us fiercely [Romans 5:6-10]. How much more can we trust him when we eventually come to our senses and choose to become his friends by seeking his forgiveness!
When angry at God, if you donít get it off your chest it could crush the life out of you. Suppressing it or trying to convince yourself that you donít feel that way is as smart as pretending you donít have a medical condition that is curable if treated in time but deadly if ignored.
God wants a relationship with us more intimate, more permanent and more exclusive than the most wonderful marriage any human couple could ever experience. When we learn that he wants us to love, honor and obey him, we back off in horror before discovering that in every way we benefit from this relationship and it is God, not us, who gets the raw end. He loves you more than you love yourself and has your best interests at heart even more than you do. He alone has infinite understanding and Ė as demonstrated by Jesus suffering on the cross for you Ė he is utterly unselfish and would sacrifice anything for your eternal happiness. To disregard the advice of someone of infinite intelligence who wants only your best, makes as much sense as deliberately harming yourself. Any time we fail to love, honor and obey the God who is devoted to our welfare, we ruin that part of our lives, relative to what we would otherwise have enjoyed and achieved.
Bookmark this and then explore the links:
God Isnít Fair? How could God be fair when some get heaps and some get a raw deal?
Do-It-Yourself Healing The secret to inner peace
Is God Really Good? Many useful links
Not to be sold. © Copyright 2009, Grantley Morris. May be freely copied in whole or in part provided: it is not altered; this entire paragraph is included; readers are not charged and it is not used in a webpage. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings available free online at www.net-burst.net Freely you have received, freely give. For use outside these limits, consult the author.
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