Why Is God Mad at Me… or at Least it Feels Like It?
When we ask ourselves, ‘why is God mad at me,’ it begs another question: Why do I sometimes feel that God is angry at me? The answer is that, like Moses, God allows us to feel the break in our relationship. Like any couple in love, we feel whenever there is a strain on our relationship. God “flares his nostrils” so that we can recognize where, and when, we have stepped out of his will for our lives.
Perhaps the most clear-cut example of this is found in Genesis 3, the sin of Adam and Eve. Not only is this account instructive for our understanding of fallen humanity, but it also highlights how God responds to human sin. After all, if ever there were two people more deserving of wrath, it would be Adam and Eve. They had but one job. There was one restriction to their physical and spiritual livelihood. All the couple needed to do was enjoy the bounty of God and resist one, solitary, temptation.
Yet they could not do it. Both are tempted; both eat the fruit; both sin. The effect of their action is dramatic and immediate. Covering themselves in shame and guilt, they hide from the Lord.
God could have come down in wrath and vengeance. God’s anger could have raged, causing him to unleash an onslaught of divine condemnation. Ye that is not who God is. Instead, God calls to the wayward couple. God beckons them to come forward and disclose their truth. And in the end, while they, and all creation, must bear the consequences of sin, God graciously provides for the couple by making garments of skin for them. What is more, God speaks of the future and promises that one day, this sin would be redeemed (Genesis 3:15).
What we mistakenly translate as divine anger is often our own sense of guilt or shame. We feel the separation from God that we have brought about by our own actions. This internal guilt makes us feel that God’s presence will mean our eternal destruction. So, we hide; We push Jesus away. In essence, we condemn ourselves.
God may be displeased when we forsake him, but that does not take away God’s love or God’s forgiveness. Our inward feeling of guilt or shame does not mean that we are divinely cast off. In fact, when we feel this way, God’s response to us is the exact opposite of condemnation. God calls to us. God invites us to God’s self to be redeemed, loved, and forgiven.
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