Tell God you're upset
Rod Hinkle, pastor, North Lawrence Christian Church, 647 Elm St.:
First, tell God you are angry. He is big enough to handle your anger.
If you get angry with God over insignificant things, tell him. Catastrophic things happen: cancer, tsunamis, hurricanes, a firing, arthritis, the death of a loved one, a divorce or abuse by a parent. Tell God. Even Jesus cried out from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Then, change your thinking about God. The Bible says, "God is love." And, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights."
Friend, God is not the source of your troubles. He created a perfect world and gave man the freedom to love him or disobey him. Adam chose to disobey him, and the world was plunged into every sort of evil. God is good - get to know him.
Third, blame the world's troubles and yours on Satan. Be angry at him.
Trust God. He turns tragedy into triumph. Tell him, "God, I trust you with my life whatever happens. I don't understand everything, but you do. Take away my bitterness and give it to the one who can handle it - Jesus, your son. Your will be done in my life."
Finally, seek the help of other believers who have overcome great difficulties, whose lives have been radiantly transformed by the love and power of Christ. They can help you dump bitterness and embrace healing.
- Send e-mail to Rod Hinkle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God can handle it
The Rev. Vicki Penner, chaplain, Lawrence Presbyterian Manor, 1429 Kasold Drive:
You need not fear being angry at God. God can handle it. In fact, in the Psalms there are several passages of people who are angry at God. (Psalm 22, Psalm 88)
When angry, the most important thing to remember is not to hurt yourself or someone else. God can handle it, but people are easily scarred when anger is unmanaged.
Anger is a signal to you that you are not getting something that you need. It may be as complicated as respect and caring or as simple as food and sleep. When you are angry, at God or anyone, it's good to take an inventory of your needs and try to meet them in the most constructive ways possible.
When you are angry at God specifically, it may be that your understanding of God is not meeting your spiritual needs. If God is always in charge and making everything happen, it's hard not to feel judged, condemned and angry when life becomes difficult. However, if you believe that life is difficult and that God is present with us in the midst of the ups and downs of life, then God understands our situation and has compassion for us. Then God is more like a nurturing friend who helps us calm down and consider the best possible course of action.
The divine is ultimately a mystery. We cannot hurt God with our anger. Rather, by expressing ourselves to God, we may discover new ways to relate to God that fill our spiritual needs better.
- Send e-mail to Vicki Penner at email@example.com.