What Can You Do When You're Angry with God?
- Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
- 2001 1 Aug
Here are some ways you can handle anger toward God:
- Give yourself permission to openly express your feelings to God. Don't feel guilty about being angry at Him; He knows that it's natural to sometimes wrestle with hard emotions. Realize that God already knows you're angry at Him, so there's no need to hide it. Know that He will welcome communication from you about your anger, since He wants to keep building a closer relationship with you every day and part of developing a bond is sharing deep feelings.
- Understand that your perspective on any situation is limited, but God's perspective is unlimited. Ask God questions if you'd like. He may choose to answer them.
- Consider whether your ideas about God, and your expectations of Him, align with biblical truth about Him. For example, God doesn't cause suffering (which is a result of humans' fall), but He sometimes allows it if it can accomplish a greater purpose in your life. God always has your best interests at heart, even in the middle of hard experiences. Study Scripture to discover more about who He is and how He works, and pray for the Holy Spirit to help you internalize what you find.
- When approaching God about a particular grievance, confess your anger (without worrying that God will view you as unfaithful for doing so), explain why you're angry, listen for whatever responses God may offer you, and release the physical energy generated by your anger in ways that help you, such as by screaming, punching a pillow or playing sports.
- After you've expressed your anger and listened to God's response, re-evaluate the situation that caused you to become angry at Him. Consider it in light of whatever response you may have heard from God, or new information you've discovered about God's character, or simply your decision to surrender your anger and trust Him.
- Seek to restore a positive relationship with God in prayer by letting Him know that you're no longer holding a grudge toward Him and are open to following Him as He continues to lead you each day.
- Take note of all the positive ways God is working in your life, and thank Him for those blessings.
Adapted from Angry with God, copyright 2001 by Michele Novotni and Randy Petersen. Published by Pinon Press, a division of NavPress, Colorado Springs, Colo., www.navpress.com, 1-800-366-7788.
Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the graduate counseling program at Eastern College in St. Davids, Penn., and a licensed psychologist in private practice. Randy Petersen has written numerous books, including several with psychological themes.