How mad are you?

Anger is a natural emotion, just as happiness and sadness are natural emotions. Over the course of the day, you will be happy, you will be sad, and you will be angry. And these emotions will be directed at different people are different times. It is not a sin to be angry or sad or happy. Don’t get me wrong, sin may result from these emotions, but the emotions themselves are not sinful.

But while we all experience these emotions from time to time, and while we all express these emotions on facebook; there is an unwritten rule of sorts that you cannot be angry with God.

Why not? Well, God is the provider of every gift; God only wants what is best for you; God’s plans are far greater and far better than whatever plans you may have yourself. And so no matter what, we try to protect God from our anger; you can get mad at anyone else, but whatever you do, don’t get mad at God; after all, it is not God’s fault.

That is all true except for 2 things: #1 it is God’s fault that you did not get your way, regardless of whether or not it will work out in the long run, you wanted things to go your way, and they did not. And #2, getting angry with God is Biblical.

Consider that Moses was angry with God for making him the leader of the often stubborn people of Israel. Elijah was angry with God for seemingly abandoning him. Jonah was angry at God for not destroying the people of Nineveh. It is fair to assume that Paul was angry with God when his plans for a missionary journey were diverted.

But notice something else about these Biblical examples, they were angry with God for one reason or another, but none lost their faith. They remained steadfast to the Lord all the days of their lives. A husband and wife do not abandon each other just because they have an argument; best friends do not avoid each other for the rest of their lives just because they had a disagreement. So to when we are angry with God, we do not forsake Him just because we did not get our way.

To the contrary, anger with the Lord is an example of our faith and trust in Him. We place all of our hopes and fears in Him alone, and on those occasions when He does not come through for us, we wonder why, because our confession is that He can and He will.

Being angry with the Lord is not a sin. Allowing that anger to overcome us and cause us to turn our backs on the Lord forever, is a sin. Yell at God, the Psalms do it all the time. Be angry with God, for that is the model of the Prophets. Do not let the sun go down on your anger, those are the words of Jesus.

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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