This article is about an honest feeling I’ve had multiple times throughout my life, but never fully talked about. It in no way reflects the totality of my level of faith or my position with my spiritual relationship with a higher power. So, with that being said…….Can we talk or can we talk?
Trauma after trauma comes with no relief. Negativity continues to frequently visit you. You change, fast, pray, cry out, and work hard to be and do better. Yet, no rescue, cure, or alleviation occurs. You are stagnant in progression, scarce in options, exhausted in every aspect of your being, and the seesaw of life is torture. To say you are over it and done, is an understatement.
If you are spiritually based; blame, resentment, anger, bitterness will start to lead in one direction. The one who allows the hell to happen. The one who the bible says wants us to prosper and be in health. The one that the bible says died on the cross for our sins. The one who shows us grace and mercy. The one who allows the torture and seesaw of life to push us beyond our breaking point. I’ve never liked the story of job and it would have a totally different outcome if it was me. I’m aware of where help comes from. I’m aware of who is in control and who has the final say so. I’m aware I’m a servant and who the master is. No matter what anyone says…I have never and will never believe the saying, “He will never put more on us than we can bear.”
Bitterness and resentment toward God is something that so many of us can relate to. Being angry or disappointed with God is a troubling subject for many believers. It’s easy to let feelings of bitterness, anger, and resentment toward God grow inside of us, slowly impacting our relationship with Him. Often people will completely walk away from God, the church, and anything connected with Him after going through a trial. Whether we’re hurt by a friend or we feel like God has let us down, bottling up our feelings only makes the situation worse. God can handle our questions and raw feelings! Whatever’s inside of us… say it to God! Don’t hesitate to shout either! We can do that? In the Bible, King David did.
When evil things happen, it is said and taught to blame the devil. I don’t fully agree with that. I believe some blame should be put on God. Here’s why….Satan is not all powerful, God is. Satan can’t do nothing that God doesn’t allow him to do. So, when bad things happen, justifiably or not, why isn’t the blame shared between Satan and God – not just Satan?
Western Reserve University psychologist and researcher, Julie Exline, says:
Anger isn’t an indication that someone is turning his or her back on God… people can be angry at God while still feeling love or respect toward God… in other words, the feelings are not mutually exclusive.
Exline has been researching anger toward God for the past ten years, conducting studies with hundreds of people (believers, and non-believers). She and her colleagues have collected data on people’s feelings toward God from five separate studies. Though the participants spanned many religious traditions, Christians predominated in all of the groups. One of the surveys revealed that 62 percent of people on occasion were admittedly angry at God. People who are more highly educated, women, and younger individuals all showed a slightly greater tendency toward God-directed anger. Jews and Catholics were slightly more angry than Protestants.
Exline found that people seem to achieve more peace with God as they age. The older people get, the better they handle negative circumstances. Among college students, 87 percent of believers reported feeling negative emotions about God after a personal setback or loss. 47 percent of grieving people reported anger at God. Interestingly enough, in both groups positive feelings about God outweighed negative emotions.
Anger at God and faith and positive feelings about God are entirely compatible. The notion that belief in God demands calm acceptance of everything that comes our way is simply absurd. Anger at God, dissatisfaction with the state of the world or the shape of our lives is not only compatible with faith, it is an act of faith. Jeff Crim, a chaplain and bereavement coordinator at North Star Hospice in Calhoun, Georgia, has found that it is important for a person to find a way to express their anger at God in order to deal with it, because expressing anger can be cathartic, and help a person move forward.
The fear that a caring God has abandoned us in our time of need and pain must be addressed, and this involves overcoming several obstacles — often people consider questioning God to be inappropriate, sacrilegious, ungodly, and even dangerous… they may see any attempt to work through honest, negative feelings as a lack of faith, weakness, or rebellion… a person may fear that God will be angry with them and punish them for having and expressing their real feelings. But simply burying these feelings is not the answer — that will hinder our relationship with God. Without addressing negative feelings, we will forfeit intimacy with God and settle for a faith that just goes through the motions.