Why It IS Okay to be Mad at God and What to Do If You Are Mad at HIMIt was 1995 when someone first suggested that I was probably mad at God and that it was absolutely okay to be mad at God. I had lost my first daughter, Christina, when I was six months pregnant and had been told that I would have to have a hysterectomy compounding my grief over the loss of my daughter with the broken dream of never being a mother. Yes, I was mad. Probably more like furious. I remember going to pick up her ashes from that place – looking at this plastic brown box, sans any marking but a piece of paper with her name on it – and thinking that this was just cruel. How could a loving God allow such hardship and suffering? It was unthinkable to me at the time. In the past 25 years, I have had plenty more opportunities to be mad at God, get over it, and get mad again like when I found out that over 2 decades of my life had been a total lie, or that I was starting over at age 58 with basically nothing. Yes, I have had plenty to be mad at God about over the years. I have had many memorable conversations with priests, nuns and laypeople on this topic starting in 1995. This is not some blasphemy or heresy. I have spent 25 years discussing this subject with anyone who had an interest. Of note, I spent a decade helping some Catholic cloistered nuns and that provided some exceptionally sweet and very rich opportunities for religious discussions. Being mad at God is not something that we often discuss, yet I believe it is so worthwhile. And I can only speak about this from the Catholic perspective. Perhaps in other Christian religions or other religious denominations being mad at God is not okay. I am completely confident that it is absolutely okay in the Catholic religion. If we are fortunate to live long enough we all get the chance to experience disappointments, broken promises, shattered dreams, losses of all kinds, the death of loved ones, deep betrayal, and pain. When we have a relationship with God, HE – our Heavenly Father – expects us to have these human feelings and HE understands. In order to be mad at God, you have to have some sort of relationship with HIM. Let’s face it, we can all get mad at strangers, however unless you have really low self-esteem, or other issues like holding grudges, etc. most of us don’t hold onto anger with a stranger. It comes and goes quickly and is forgotten. So being mad at God is reasonable if you have a relationship with Him. Or even if you don’t, you could start a relationship with God by being mad at Him. Before I talk about how you might deal with being angry at God I want to pause and talk about why this is so important AKA the benefits to a belief in God.
Benefits to Believing in God: Since we could also call this blog, “The World According to Lisa” (Haha), I am going to give you my rendition of why believing in God is so powerful. I never knew until recently that believing in God and religion was a coping mechanism or strategy. Wow! I just never, ever knew that. Not a surprise given that I had also never thought about my own coping mechanisms or strategies. So, this is my take on the benefits to believing in God – from the Catholic perspective.
- God is LOVE. Belief in God is belief in Love and all things good.
- Provides guidelines for moral living.
- According to M. Scott Peck, M.D., people who believe in God or a ‘higher power’ were psychologically healthier than people who did not. (from People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck, M.D.)
- Provides eternal hope – for eternal life and Heaven.
- Provides a powerful context for suffering (Jesus on the cross for example).
- Provides a powerful context for evil.
- It’s a good coping mechanism or strategy.
- You are NEVER alone when you have God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (The Trinity).
- Provides a community.
- Provides a purpose – you are working your way to Heaven.
- Provides the space the miracles to occur – with God ALL things are possible.
- Significant comfort when loved ones pay away to have the belief in Heaven and eternal life.
- Provides a “super hero” mentality that GOD has your back – the Most Powerful Entity in the Universe cares for you! HE has a better plan for you.
- Provides the Corporal Works of Mercy
- Provides the Spiritual Works of Mercy
- Prayer provides comfort, peace, healing, strength, and more.
- Confession – teaches self-forgiveness, self-compassion, forgiveness of others, humanity.
Concluding Thoughts:I wish for your this beautiful life that you LOVE. I want you to LOVE your LIFE. And we all know that life is hard. Sometimes so, so hard. Having a belief in God can be overwhelmingly positive and helpful. So, if you happen to be out of sorts with God, perhaps you are mad at HIM. And that would be a powerful place to start. How can I help you LOVE your LIFE? What do you think about being mad at God? What can you grow and develop in your spiritual life? What is on your heart and mind today?