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Question: What do you tell a person who is mad at God because He will not give her the kind of job she wants?

Answer: This is a very interesting question. The first thing to consider is whether or not this person is a Christian. If she is not a Christian, then the most appropriate response would be to show Christian love to her by empathizing with her situation and try to take an opportunity to explain why God doesn’t necessarily grant every desire we have. The unbeliever will never fully understand the things of God because their hearts are hardened toward him (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14).

If your friend is a Christian, that changes things a bit. It’s really difficult for me to tell you specifically what to say without knowing more of the details of this particular situation, but there’s a part of me that cannot help but think this is a somewhat childish perspective for a Christian to take. If you’re a parent, then you understand what it’s like when your child throws a tantrum. Getting mad at God because he won’t give you the job you want sounds an awful lot like a six year old getting mad at her parents because they won’t buy her the toy she desperately desires.

Keep in mind that this refers to your friend only if she is a Christian. The first thing I would point out is that God is not obligated to give us anything, much less what we desire. We’re all sinners and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), so they only thing we deserve from God – what our works merit – is death and judgment. That we don’t receive this from God is a testament to his abundant grace.

Secondly, your friend’s attitude reflects an extreme lack of gratitude to God for what she does have. This was a similar attitude that the Israelites expressed toward God during their desert wanderings after the exodus. They forgot the lengths God went to in order to redeem them from bondage in Egypt. All they could focus on was that they missed the garlic and leeks and onions from Egypt. They complained and complained so much that when they refused to enter the Promised Land, God sentenced them to 40 years of wandering as judgment for their incessant complaining. God’s provision wasn’t enough for them; that’s a very bad position in which to be.

Finally, this mindset demonstrates a lack of faith on your friend’s part. First of all, there is a lack of faith in the character of God; that he is good and gracious. Second, there is a lack of faith that he will provide her what she needs (which may be vastly different than what she wants). Thirdly, faith demonstrates a sense of submission to God’s will. When we complain, we lack faith that God is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28); and that in turn shows we aren’t submitting to his will for our lives. It becomes a case of “my will be done” instead of “thy will be done.” I know this sounds cliché, but more often than not, when God closes a door in one direction, he opens another door in a different direction. However, when we press for what we want, sometimes God allows us to ‘suffer’ the consequences of our desires.

I want to reiterate that you’ll want to take a different approach with your friend depending on whether or not she is a Christian; it does very little good to exhort a Christian response from someone who isn’t a Christian. But if she is a Christian, it might be good to challenge her thinking on this situation. If we desire something so much that not getting it causes us to get mad at God, then maybe the thing we desire has become an idol in our life.

Something to consider.

Views: 521

Tags: Apologetics, Christian Living, Christianity

Comment by JL Vaughn on October 18, 2009 at 4:28pm
Sure, get mad at God. He's a big guy. He can handle it.

So could your parents (at least I hope) when you wanted something and they refused to give it to you.

Comment by joanne guarnieri on October 18, 2009 at 6:20pm
God invites us to pray, to bring HIm all our issues and concerns. Sometimes our "issue" is anger over a "concern" that we feel God has not addressed in a way that seems loving, or powerful, or good, to us.

Paul says that in our anger we are not to sin, nor to give Satan a foothold. I would think that is a blanket principle in dealing with anger - towards whomever. Being angry is not the sin. What we do with it is very important.

Another thing to consider is that negative emotions are like warning bells. Something is wrong. So when we're angry we need to make a careful analysis of what's wrong. You made a lot of good suggestions in helping that thinking along. Being angry with God is a start, but one can't feel justified in one's position that God is somehow in the wrong, we are somehow in the right, and we have the right to stand in judgement over God.

Instead, using anger as the starting point, it is better to trace through how our thinking got derailed so that we have now arrived at anger instead of another, healthier emotion. There is no reason to repent of being angry. But it is vitally necessary to repent of judging God, as even the briefest perusal of Job will verify.
Comment by Kim on October 18, 2009 at 8:41pm
The questioner’s reason was a tad trivial or so it seemed. I think it becomes harder to grasp hold of the answers you know to be true when the Christian is under the pressure of, say, chronic pain and their pleas are not granted or the death of a child etc. Most Christians have either experienced anger toward God or have known someone who was angry with God. In my own mind I tell myself.. If I stop talking to God and turn on Him, if I believe God does not exist.. I’m still in pain. If I believe God does not exist child is still gone. God does exist I know this, he promised to be with me and that is my comfort, that I am not alone. People usually turn their backs on you when your in need, but God IS and he is there with me. I guess it makes no sense to be angry with God, by doing so you are acknowledging he is there but disagreeing with him, which is the last thing someone who is in distress needs. If he is there then lean on him. Tell him about it, agonize with him but don’t fight with him . You won’t win :)
Comment by Kim on October 18, 2009 at 8:44pm
That was hypothetical, btw. On re-reading my comment it looked like I was speaking from the experience of losing a child...I haven't had that experience or chronic pain.
Comment by Katherine A Johnson on October 22, 2009 at 9:48pm
I live with chronic pain, and occasionally waste my time being mad at God. At those times, God has been patient with me and said gently to my spirit "My grace is sufficient for you".

I believe you can take everything to the throne of God, but am saddened with an attitude I've run into that seems to equate the God of the universe with Santa. In this context God just becomes a means to an end, a way to get our needs met. Like some kind of spiritual barter system, we say "I believe in you God, as long as You bring me no suffering and give me everything I want.".

There's a difference in my opinion between that attitude and wrestling with God to accept difficult things, and calling out to Him in pain and frustration. The first shows a lack of connection with God and knowledge of His Word, the second displays intimacy with Him.


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