It is okay to be mad at God
Can I be mad at God?
Many times when I have talked with people they ask me if it is okay to be mad at God. I have heard this enough times that I want to start getting my own opinions out there to help others understand that being mad at God is okay, as long as we understand that to be in any relationship with another person we are going to feel every emotion possible. If we do not feel each emotion throughout the life of the relationship it is not a very healthy relationship. God wants us to be in a relationship with him, and there will be times when something happens that makes us mad at God. That is fine, as long as we deal with the anger in a constructive and biblical way.
We can all get mad at God sometimes
Life with God
Many times people think that since God is all powerful then God can do whatever He wants whenever He wants to. God's love for us is amazing and can help us to understand how much we each mean to God individually and as a family of believers. This is what makes us into a relationship with God, and this relationship can take on many different forms depending on what we consider to be normal from our own family life and upbringing. God desires us to be with Him, but like any other time two people try to live together, there is going to be turmoil and hardships. This is just part of life. God understands this, now we need to try to understand that each emotion we have is allowed to be expressed towards God: Love, Compassion, Mercy, and also Anger, Frustration, or Confusion.
Even people in the Bible got mad at God
The story of Job is one that helps us understand when life is challenging, God is still in charge. Job was asked many times to admit he had done something wrong and it was his fault that all of these horrible events keep happening to him. His wife even tells him to "Curse God and die" (Job 2:9). At the very end of the book, after being attacked by his "friends" Job finally has a face to face meeting with God. God answers all of the problems that Job has and Job sees that there is much more to life and creation than he understood. There is a lot in this world that we cannot understand yet God is able to keep each blade of grass under consideration when anything happens on this world. There are times when something might happen that frustrates us because we simply don't understand why it had to happen, and that is okay.
There are several Psalms that discuss anger, frustration, or confusion with why God is treating the people like they are being treated. Psalm 10, 13 and 70 are just a few examples. The people are upset because God is not doing what they want him to do in a manner they want it done. Often we see something that needs to happen and we wonder why God is doing nothing to make it happen. We simply do not understand everything that would change if God simply fixed all the problems in the world. We are expected to do something on this world to show our love for God. We cannot just assume God will do everything for us, just like in any other healthy relationship, each person is expected to do something to help the relationship grow and become stronger.
Even Jesus shows frustration and anger towards God while on the cross. In Mark 15:33 Jesus asks why God has forsaken him. There are other moments when Jesus simply wants another course of action, and none are given. The power of God's love is hard to understand, and as Jesus was placed on the cross there were many opportunities to feel betrayed and ignored. Yet Jesus understands the need to be in a relationship with others, to show the power of emotions. To express his human nature and then live into his godly nature. Each part is important, and Jesus needs to show his emotions just like everyone else. He shows that a true relationship between Father and Son uses every aspect of human emotions.
In the Song of Solomon the author makes it clear how much being in a true relationship matters to them. Being in a relationship is a powerful and empowering way to live life. It allows us to know there is always someone around who will help us, love us, support us and also frustrate us, confuse us and even anger us. The emotions we experience are normal, and throughout the bible people are upset with God.
Being a part of a family means being emotional
Being a parent of two small children I experience anger over situations I never knew would happen. It seems like every time I turn around something else is broken, colored on or "put away" in a place we won't find for days or even months. I am angry at my children, and this does not change how much I love them or want them to be the best they can possibly be. I know there are times when my children feel anger towards me or my wife, and that helps them understand that there are good ways and bad ways to deal with the anger. It is better to express the anger in whatever fashion makes the most sense to them. If it means shouting or throwing a temper tantrum, then as long as it is not bothering other people, I let them. When they are done, we can talk and understand why one of us was angry at the other. I do not change how I see my children when I am angry at them; I simply want to express an emotion in a healthy and constructive way. This is the exact same process we need to understand and do with God.
Why do we feel it is okay to be mad at family and friends but we cannot be mad at God? Is the relationship we have with God so fragile that we cannot experience all the emotions we have with others? Or is the relationship we have with family and friends better than the one God created for us? It is okay to be mad at God, it is even better if we handle that anger in a way that helps us understand God and feel better about ourselves. Each time we are angry with someone we need to express the anger in a non-violent and non-threatening way that helps get the emotion out of our system so we can then figure out what caused the emotion and what needs to be done to help the situation not get that bad again.
We need all of our emtions
This may seem confusing, but if someone truly loves God, then they should be comfortable enough in that love to also be angry at God. They need to be able to yell and scream in frustration and anger at God knowing that God will listen to each and every comment made. Job argues with God throughout the entire ending of the book (chapters 38-42). This kind of relationships allows us to grow in our understanding of who God is in our own lives, but also allows us to be human. Everything we say and everything we do is seen and heard by God, there is no way to hide how we feel, so if we are upset with God we need to express the emotions. Be mad, because that proves you are in a relationship.
It is not healthy to bottle up our emotions, or to try and only experience some and not others. We are made to be whole and complete. There is no way we could only be happy all of our lives and live a healthy existence. I personally believe that many of our emotions help us to understand other emotions that much better. When we are sad, we understand the joy of being happy more. When we are angry we understand the power of love more. When we are confused or frustrated we appreciate the comfort of being confident and comfortable in who we are and life in general.
For any relationship to last a lifetime each person needs to be committed to the relationship. They need to understand each other and also to help each other throughout the life of the relationship. Too many relationships end because one person demands all the power and accepts none of the responsibility. God does not desire to be in this kind of relationship with us. He wants to be with us in the good and the bad, in the wonderful and the miserable and experiencing each of these emotions with God is healthy.
The goal for expressing the emotions, whatever they happen to be, is to make the relationship more healthy or stronger at the end. To be at peace with everything that is going on in our life and understanding that what we are experiencing is what needs to happen. Many times we understand why life experiences happened when we look back years later, but while we are in the moment we can only feel that one emotion. It is hard to understand when we are in pain or suffering, and that is okay. Tell God about the suffering and pain, the frustration and anger and then accept that the pain will go away, the frustration will end and the anger will become understanding. Allow time to bring you closer than ever to the God who created you.
Always work towards reconciliation
Reconciliation is important to any healthy relationship. We need to be able to come together and understand each side before we can reconcile. Each side needs to understand there is more than one way to see any given situation and more than likely one side, if not both, do not have all the information. When we are angry at God, we need to express that anger and the take some time to think about why we are angry. It may be that we are stressed out because we are trying to do too much on our own. It may be because we cannot see God's grace in our lives or we want God to give justice to someone who has just wronged us. We want God to do His job the way WE see fit and that is not going to work well.
We need to understand all emotions are valuable and helpful in the life of any relationship. How we deal with those emotions is equally valuable. Be mad at God, but also be happy, joyful, excited and scared with God. Experience every possible emotion you can, because that means you are in a healthy relationship with the God who created you, who loves you and who wants to be in a relationship with you.