By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC
It’s funny how so many folks really don’t like the notion of calling God a jerk. But the expression, when used of other people, seems to simply represent being pissed off or hurt and resentful towards someone, as in, “so and so was such a jerk to me” or “Stop being such as jerk!” Why then can’t we acknowledge that we also take this attitude towards God?
I get that for committed followers of Christ, this expression would be seen as dishonoring and disrespectful and dangerously sinful. It’s just not acceptable. But what about the feelings, thoughts and beliefs it represents, then? Because the rub here is that although this phraseology is off limits, who can say that they never get angry or hurt and resentful towards God?
I’m actually met quite a few folks who after telling me about some pretty crappy stuff in their lives tell me that they weren’t and aren’t mad at God about it. Most of the time I hear that I am thinking, “well, why not?” When the kid on the playground pushed you down, you got mad and sad. When that snotty girl in high school embarrassed you, you got mad and sad. When you got screwed by the credit card company, or the boss, or your neighbor, or a family member, you got mad and sad – at least the mad part.
Somehow when it comes to God people are quite afraid to be real about their negative feelings. Well, up to a point. I think some of the most outspoken angry people are ones that used to try to not be angry – until they blew. I think that’s because we are taught to stuff down this kind of anger and when it blows it releases along with it anger at having had to stuff it in the first place. Maybe including some anger that feels that God was the one that told them they couldn’t be angry at him?
The problem is that God never said that.
In fact, he’s expressed the opposite. What I mean is that he has said that he doesn’t want formal and fake worship of him that is not honest. But I think we are afraid of people getting too honest, too raw with God. That puzzles me. Is it that we think God doesn’t already know our hearts? Or will we hurt God’s feelings or incur his wrath? He is not some Greek God, who feels offended if someone expresses anger towards him.
God knows our deepest heart – better than we do.
It’s not just that God can handle our angry rants and tearful vents. He sees underneath them. And I don’t think God’s desire is to make us knock it off or stuff it. No, I believe his desire is to draw it out. Like a parent when their child is upset by something that happened at school. They seek to understand and they express comfort. And when the child is angry at the parent? A good parent invites this too, and doesn’t squash it. And that’s how it is healed and resolved.
Same goes for our anger and hurt towards God.
Go to God – tell him you think he’s a jerk – and let him be the perfect parent that you need.
If you would like to schedule a counseling appointment with Matt, call 407-647-7005.
Reprint Permission– If this article helped you, you are invited to share it with your own list at work or church, forward it to friends and family or post it on your own site or blog. Just leave it intact and do not alter it in any way. Any links must remain in the article. Please include the following paragraph in your reprint.
“Reprinted with permission from the LifeWorks Group weekly eNews, (Copyright, 2004-2012), To subscribe to this valuable counseling and coaching resource visit www.LifeWorksGroup.org or call 407-647-7005”