It bites. Then it stings as it slips down into your spirit. It festers. It bleeds internally until your whole being is infected- anger destroys.
During my last year of college, I realized how angry I had become. I was angry about my emotional disorders- anxiety, depression, and OCD. I was angry that I couldn't seem to shake them. I was angry at God for not taking them away instantly. And I was angry at myself for not doing the things that I knew would help me- spending time in God's word, eating healthy, going to a counselor, etc.
Since then, I have asked forgiveness for my anger and have tried to work on it. In some ways, it's better, in many ways, it has stayed the same, and in some ways, it's worse. I do think I am doing better than I was my senior year of college, but it is still a daily battle. Some days I have the upper-hand, and some days I sink like a mini-titanic.
Realizing Your AngerBecoming aware of my own anger made me see something else, too: a lot, A LOT, of people are angry. And not just people who have spent their lives living wrongly either. No, Christians, God-loving and following Christians such as myself, are living their entire lives as an angry people.
Coming to this realization hurts. I see people in my own life struggling with anger too. They are angry about the their health, their finances, their marriage, their job, the political situation in the U.S.- you name it, someone, some Christian is angry about it. And you know what? I understand. Like I said, I struggle with anger too. But the more I take a look at my own anger, and the anger of those around me, I realize that the root of the problem is not anger, it is entitlement.
EntitlementPeople aren't just angry because they are angry. People are angry, I am angry, because I feel like something is owed to me. I should have a better mental health situation. Why? Because God should want to heal me. Wow! Can you hear the arrogance jumping out of this blog post? I can!
That's the thing- if we are mad at God, or mad in general, because things aren't absolutely perfect in our lives, that is only because we expect perfection. And why? Hasn't the perfect gift already been wrapped up tightly in our hearts? Isn't salvation for all eternity enough? Or have we bought into some form of prosperity gospel that says God's purpose is for us to be happy?
Is God Selfish?God loves us-yes. God wants the best for us- absolutely! But what we think is best and what God knows is best are two totally different things. Do they sometimes coincide? Sure! Many times in my life, God has blessed me with the things I desired most: my husband, my college, my family and I living closer to each other again, and quite a few other things too. The evidence seems clear that these are places where what I desired was also what God wanted for me- praise God! I am thankful! But as a general rule, when it comes down to it, God is after our holiness, our sanctification, and after His own glory. Whatever will bring about those things in our lives- that's what He will do. And to our human minds, that sounds selfish. Why does God get to go after His own glory, but we don't?
Well, did we create the earth? Nope.
Did we hang the stars in the sky? Negative.
Did we give our only, perfect son to hang on a cross for a people who's sins were infinite? Um, no.
And that, my friends, is why God gets to be after His own glory.
And as far as God being interested in our holiness and sanctification, that is Him having our best interest in mind. If God left us where we were at, for the sake of our own delight and happiness, He'd be a superficial God, only caring about the surface of our lives. Our hearts and spirits are eternal. They need much more attention than our immediate happiness does.
Does God want us to be happy? Yes, I think that within the realm of what is pleasing to Him, God definitely wants us to feel joy, pleasure, and have happiness in this life. But- and that is a huge, whopping but- God's interest in our holiness, in our hearts changing in godliness, is far superior to His desire for us to be happy.
So if those two things seem that they cannot co-exist in a given situation, guess which one God is going to put first. And honestly, I don't like it. But it is what is best. It is needed. It is beautiful in it's time. And it is filled with love and grace from a merciful God who truly does hold us caringly close to His heart.
Do you struggle with feelings of anger or entitlement? What steps can you take to overcome them?
*Originally Published in August 2015
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