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Being Real Before Right

Photo by: Alberto Ortiz

One of our friends asked a good question in response to the last post. Does anyone have  a valid reason for being angry with God?

Our answer to that question, as well as our thoughts about “anger with God” may depend on the extent to which we are inclined to “be right” or to “do right” as a way of life. If our answer is, “of course we are never right to be angry with God,” the next questions might be, “But what if we are?” Or what if we really feel that we do have a valid reason to be angry with God?”

The opposite extreme would be to put such a high value on being honest to ourselves that being angry with God was just an unexamined, and unquestioned way of life.

My guess is that most of us would agree that relationships with Christ grow from the inside out, and from down to up (i.e. from our admission of need to his help).

Can we also agree, then, that being real with God is one of the first steps to being right with him.




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31 Responses to “Being Real Before Right”

  1. BronzeforGold says:

    I do agree, our relationship with Christ starts when we acknowledge our need for help. My thoughts on being real as a step towards being right are; because God knows every thought and intent, one can’t help but be real before Him. He knows our very soul.
    I buried a son. It was purely by the grace of God that I spent my grief in his arms and not in anger towards Him.
    It is my anger towards other people that interferes in my relationship with the Lord. I have learned to seek and allow the Holy Spirit to work on that in me from the inside out. When I abide… that process works. When I hide in rebellion and let the anger have it’s evil way, I suffer.
    For, like Paul, “I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want.” Romans 7:19

  2. poohpity says:

    I totally agree. When folks come in for counseling that is the main foundation for healing to be honest or real about who we are. How do we ever realize we need a Savior without being real? How do we continue to see our need without admitting when we are wrong during this relationship with the Lord? That seems to be when people become self righteous when they forget who we are compared to Christ throughout the rest of or lives. That type of honestly is so freeing and in that understanding we truly realize how totally amazing God’s grace and mercy are.

    It would seem if we want revival in our relationship to Christ take a check list of how many times in a day we think things that are not pleasing to the Lord, say things that are not pleasing to the Lord and do things that are not pleasing to the Lord. It will help us really get a grasp about how much grace we live under.

  3. florida7sun says:

    Mart, I agree with you that “being real with God is one of the first steps to being right with him.”

    United with Him in marriage I am not my own. My identity has changed. I have been given a new heart, His heart: a heart of gratitude for the assurance of His salvation. I have also been given a new name; His.

    As sojourners in the wilderness, He provides our daily bread and abundant blessing. Yes, there is pain and death, grief and sorrow in this life. But should that be a cause for anger toward Our Father in Heaven?

    John 3:16 reveals how much He loves us. A heart of gratitude has so much to be thankful for. Every precious moment should be cherished. However, we are also in the midst of spiritual warfare. “Therefore… let us run with perseverance the “race” marked out for us.” – Hebrews 12:1

    The Greek word for race is agon; from which we get agony. Our path through life can be agony at times; a time of testing, a time of trial.

    Jesus suffered agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Was He angry with His Father? No.

    Jesus suffered agony on the cross that we fashioned for Him. Was He angry with us? No.

    Yes, we can cry out to Him and plead for understanding. He will provide it and carry our burden.

    As His bride, the church also suffers in a world filled with demons. Every major religion acknowledges them. They are legion and skillful in combat. Throughout the day, and through the night, the worldwide news media reports on casualties from Satan’s activities. (“The Judaic Talmud declares that there are 7,405,926 demons, divided in 72 companies.” – Wikipedia on Demonology). Who knows for sure the number? They wreak havoc, nevertheless.

    Thankfully, we have His Word and His Holy Spirit to comfort, guide and empower us.

    There is a war being fought for the very souls of men. We have been told to take up our cross and to put on the full armor of God. As His disciples should we be angry? No. Should we grumble and desire a return to our sin nature? God forbid.

    We have His two great commandments to live by. Every breath we take is a cause for celebration, as we grow in Him and work out our salvation.

  4. poohpity says:

    florida7sun, what is your take on Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34 ?

  5. florida7sun says:

    Hi Pooh. I do not believe Jesus was angry with God. In His humanity He pleaded for His Father to restore the unity of their relationship. The stench of our sin on Jesus was overbearing. Habakkuk 1:13 reveals the nature and purity of God in looking away from evil. Jesus hung there alone with dogs surrounding Him. His cry of anguish and His song of praise are intertwined in Psalm 22. In crying out Jesus also fulfilled this passage of Scripture.

    What a testimony it is of Our Father’s love for us that He turned His back on His only begotten Son. What a testimony it is of Jesus’ love that He continued to hang there onto death that we might be restored to oneness with Him and Our Father.

    In my life I too have pleaded and cried out in anguish seeking God to draw near. In approaching Him we are fortunate to have a high priest who is the first fruit of our new creation. As written in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    Sin can affect our relationship with Him and also separate us from God. It is so important to be honest with Jesus and ourselves. As we earnestly seek Him with a desire that He live His life through us, He draws near and gives quiet assurance of His presence.

    Without Him there is no quality of life. In fact, without Him, we have no life,

  6. poohpity says:

    I really do not know whether He was angry or in so much despair that all hope was lost especially being separated from the only thing that gave Him strength and purpose for life. Knowing that there was hardly any strength left in Him what would anger sound like in that position? That was not the point it was His recorded expression of what He was feeling and going through. His being real with us and honestly sharing what was in his heart. That let’s me know it is so OK to be real and not be expected to not be honest about anger, despair, hopelessness and anxiety and all the other emotions that people hide and do not express because maybe they feel it is wrong to do so. Jesus was so real even contemplating going to the Cross brought so much terror to him He sweat drops of blood.

    If we try and hide the things we go through emotionally and have people tell us we shouldn’t feel such and such because we aren’t trusting the Lord enough in that area is to deny our humanness and the truth. Those folks are not being real or honest. I have found that in the generation before mine that was a common occurrence to never express how you think or feel but to hide and keep things secret because they expose to much about someone. I learned to share those things with others is to opened the doors of understanding and compassion.

  7. florida7sun says:

    There is no question that the Lord desires us to express ourselves. In rejoicing, and during times of personal stress, we draw tremendous strength from one another.

    And, encouragement is so important today! My wife tells me that a listening ear is a wonderful resource to have; and two words of compassion we can usually share are simply “I understand.”

    Likewise, Jesus understands. Nothing has happened to us that is not uncommon to man. He is faithful. He sees into our hearts.

    It is comforting to me to know that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and that His Spirit is interceding on our behalf, even when we do not know what to pray. As part of the body of Christ, we bless and are blessed by each other’s presence.

  8. jani820 says:

    I was angry at my son last week. He is a paranoid schizophrenic. He cussed out the psychiatrist last week at our office visit. This was our third visit. My son is not compliant with the medication. He threatened to sue for malpractice because the doctor is allowing a stranger to prescribe treatment. I have been his mother since conception. My son demanded a DNA test. He said once the results are final I could no longer see his son, my eight year old grandson. I lost it. Hearing him say that made me into someone else. Once I collected my wits, and calmed down,what a remorse. I am screaming at someone who cant think clearly. I am a believer saying some unbelievable things. After a moment like that, I am amazed God still loves me. I sinned in my anger. I wonder is this the disqualifier round for the trip to heaven? Later, in prayer, I spoke to God and told Him I am mad at many situations in my life. Its the fear that makes me angry. Its the losses that make me angry. I find it hard to accept that this is part of the plan.

  9. poohpity says:

    jani820, thank you for feeling safe enough to share your struggle with us. I think the only disqualifying round for the trip to heaven is the one where we do not accept what Christ did on the Cross for our sins. I really do not know what to say to bring you comfort except that I have had outbursts with my son’s too especially when I feel so totally out of control but I realize it is a good place to be because God is in control and can handle whatever we put into His hands.

  10. florida7sun says:

    Beautiful post by Max Lucado this morning on Faith…

    “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:11 NIV

    “Faith is trusting what the eye can’t see.

    Eyes see the prowling lion. Faith sees Daniel’s angel.

    Eyes see storms. Faith sees Noah’s rainbow.

    Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior.

    Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees his blood.”

    It is so important to keep our faith focused on Jesus.

  11. remarutho says:

    Hello Jani–

    I so recognize my own behavior in what you wrote:

    “I am a believer saying some unbelievable things. After a moment like that, I am amazed God still loves me. I sinned in my anger.”

    Ouch. Yes,anger distorts pretty much everything. Yet, here we are, the broken and flawed faithful! I forgive you — and with your honest confession and deep desire for forgiveness — our heavenly Father forgives you. Thanks forever for Jesus and his gift of atoning love! I can only pray for you and your son and grandson. If your son were persuaded to stay on his meds, things might not escalate to such a level. Praying you and he can have that conversation…

    Yours in Christ,

  12. jon614 says:

    Pooh & Florida,
    I regard the time that Jesus had in the Garden and on the Cross and His questioning of God was the human side of His existence. What He did have at that time was Hope! His Spirituality saw the plan that God had for our salvation, but His human side felt the pain and loneliness of being without God, even for a short time.

    We have the same advantage of seeing God’s plan for our salvation, but our human side, dealing with pain, loneliness, and even anger, pushes that aside. When we regain our senses and see that there is Hope on God’s side, then we settle within our pain or loneliness and, with Hope, realize Who is really on our side.

    Your comments on this blog keep me going from day to day – I feel the intelligence and the hope and know that there are brighter days ahead. Thanks for caring for each other,


  13. gerpie says:

    jani820 – I wanted to tell you that my heart goes out to you and your son to the depths of my soul- being that I am paranoid schizophrentic as your son is – and I know how horrendous it is both from the schizophrenics side – and through what my adult children have told me I’ve said when I was ‘out of it.’ — I’m 63 now (it did not start until I was about 30). My children were all born before it started and I have prayed and prayed that none of them or my grandchildren have it come into their lives. I don’t know if it will help you or not – to know that it is horrendous for the person who has it, too. —- I am on the best medication I’ve ever been on – (and have not been in the hospital in a psych wsrd for 19 years – when I was divorced)- and I thank God that I have been aware for these 19 years that I HAVE to take the med – that I have to be responsible for myself. And have done well enough that since I was divorced I have lived by myself and was able to work for 12 years. — I don’t know if your son has a problem with the side effects from the med but I had horrid reactions to the ones that were available back 30 years ago – that made it unbearable to take them indefinitly. Maybe a different med would help your son?? Though your son has at least periods of being paranoid during which it would be almost impossible to convince him of anything. — I wish I could help you – because I’ve been through 33 years of it – but it’s hard for me too talk too much about it – because of the horrid memories that go with especially the first 15 years of it. One thing I would say though – if it is possible – be there for him as much as you can – because I know it helps me that my adult kids and grandkids are so sweet to me!! Though I will say – if he is paranoid a lot of the time – I don’t know if he can comprehend that you are for him and not against him. —– I have prayed for you and your son and will continue to do so. And know that Jesus and our God both know what both you and your son are living. And life gets extremely difficult at times – to say the least!!!!! Love, Donna

  14. petros says:

    I suggest that honesty with ourselves is very helpful, providing we’ve truly accepted God’s truth. One of the 2 biggest ways I have honored God with my lips alone, has been when I’ve parroted the statement; “God is in control”. It makes me sound spiritual when I talk the talk, but I truly become spiritual when an if I walk the walk.

    I suggest that all we believers will arrive at a point where we understand that if we really believe that “God is in control” and we find ourselves getting angry with people or frustrated with our circumstances, then those feelings are really directed at God anyway.

    And as I am writing this I am reminded that about the only time I am comfortable with God being “in control” is when his will seems to conveniently line up with my will. A truth that seems to be shaping up is that a genuine acceptance that all things really do work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose, may happen only to the degree that I allow myself to be further conformed into the image of His Son.

    One of the verses that quickly shaped my path as a new believer was Hebrews 11:6. It seemed a bit easier to focus on learning and striving to trust God, than keeping up with an ever-growing list of dos and don’ts. And it seems as if that was kind of the crux of the fall of man anyway; not trusting God!

    Well here I am 13 years later and I am still a card carrying member of not-gonna-trust-God-today-anonymous.


  15. poohpity says:

    petros, you mentioned a issue that I have found that causes a majority of the anger in my life and that is “control”. When I try and control my environment, my household, my life, others and God, it really throws a wrench into my attitude. If those mentioned above do not fall into the category that “I” think is right or do what “I” want them to do, or say or be then I get upset. If I really trust God and believe that all things are in His hands and have faith that He knows what is right, I can be real and admit I do not have a clue what is best.

    Look at what Christ went through and He wanted nothing but the will of God to be done. God’s Will, not mine. Talk about a true test of who we trust in.

  16. poohpity says:

    Mart, that post you did on March 01, 2011 about “Beating Ourselves Up” how did it get hidden so well? It was great. Could you post it again?

  17. Ken says:

    Anger is an emotion, a reaction to a situation, as is grief, fear despair, disappointment. If it is ok to express grief, fear despair and disappointment to God why not anger? God is big enough and loves me enough to handle it. Am I right or wrong? I can’t write a long spiritual disortation on the subject its just me trying to be real.

  18. poohpity says:

    :-) Yep emotions are neither right or wrong they just are. It was what you do with them that counts.

  19. Ken says:

    Thanx Pooh,
    I like that ” yep”. Now thats real!

  20. jani820 says:

    Hi everyone thank you one and all for your comments. Gergie, thank you. My son’s complaint was the side effects. He also did not try to take the meds after they were adjusted once the doctor was made aware. Florida what a beautiful post by Max. Petro you are right on point about I’m cool as long as God’s will is doing what I want. remarutho thanks for the encouragement. I have gotten more support from the cyber world than the ecclesiastical/church crowd. I am praying some desperate prayers. Like when the flash of anger hits i submit it to God. Today I had a moment with my younger brother. He is struggling with unemployment. A car that is in perpetual breakdown. He asked to borrow my car for a short trip to the convenience store. He wanted to leave the house in his underwear?in my car? I had to argue with someone that is nearly fifty to put on shorts. I felt the anger rising very quick. I remember asking God to help me not to smack him in his stinking head. I was afraid he would have my car smelling like an outhouse. Since his jobless state began one month ago, he has seen fit to forego the necessary ablutions on a daily basis. God answered my prayer. He dressed, he returned promptly, and the vehicle did not smell like the cattle car. Within moments of praying frantically God calmed me. I read this morning the last two chapters of Revelation. To be in heaven where God’s glory illuminates the entire heaven. To be joined with Christ at last. To be welcomed home. No more tears.. The best is yet to come.

  21. remarutho says:

    Dear Jani —

    You seem to be the strong care-giver in your family. It is a place of great honor — and great difficulty.

    As a first-born in my own family, let me urge you to take time and space for your own needs and comforts. The Lord cares for you — and you may lay all your burdens upon Him. (1 Peter 5:7) Let me say it more strongly: You must lay all things on Him. I myself would buckle under care-giving if I did not run to Jesus with everything — even my little hurts and troubles.

    My prayer is that you receive ever-living refreshment as you go each day. God will take care of you! I believe the Thinking About crew will remind Him.

    As you pray for your son and for your brother, may that grace and mercy pour out upon you as well. May the Lord make space and time for you to step aside and receive the reviving of the Holy Spirit in your body, mind and soul.


  22. musicgirl61 says:

    I grew up learning to “do right.” It was what was taught in our home, and in our church…or if not exactly taught, it was what was “caught.” It has been many, many years since that I have begun to learn the difference being “doing right” and “being right.” The assurance of having been “made right” frees me to express all of my emotions to God–the good, bad & ugly (and how freeing that is!)but it also inspires in me the desire to “do right”–not in an attempt to “be right,” but because it expresses who I am in Christ.

    Like some others have said here, I often find myself expressing my anger at other people, to my shame. There have been times I have thought I should just plan every Monday morning to go in to work and apologize to my boss for the previous week…other times I think I should just apologize in advance for the coming week! But the amazing thing is that even in this weakness, God manages to use me: somehow my outbursts have made me approachable, and provided openings for spiritual conversations. I see that as a work of grace.

  23. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends!

    Soldiering on here with the original question you posed, I have thought and thought about a “valid reason for being angry with God.” I believe, most often in a heated moment, that my reason for anger is sound, just, and well-founded.

    The problems with that are 1) emotion and 2) perspective. Man, Can those features of humanity distort and mar reality! Reality consists in the powerful and ultimate character of the love of Creator God. It is God who breathed all things into being. It seems to me, we are too frail to get there from here — to come close to God’s feeling and God’s perspective. For me, reality and divine perspective come in the smallest sightings. Mostly, I walk in complete or partial darkness on that score.

    Before my emotions can calm down and my perspective grow more generous, there is the Lord Jesus to offer cleansing and deliverance and healing and forgiveness to me. When I see myself in his hand, my anger gets smaller and smaller — the object, not the subject of the question. He is the main thing.

    It is a useful question though. Thanks!


  24. musicgirl61 says:

    years ago I read an article that mentioned a little kid having a temper tantrum while being tightly held in the loving parent’s arms. I often think of that in regards to me and my Abba Daddy: I may be beating on His chest, but it’s within the circle of His arms. Justified or not, my anger doesn’t change His love for me, and He still holds me, regardless.

  25. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Every single one who has posted has made an impact on me, so thanks to everyone. All I can say is basically a recap on all the previous posts.

    The opening question was does anyone have a valid reason to be angry with God and I truly believe the answer is no. Will we be angry anyway? Yes.

    I believe the anger comes from taking the focus off of God and only seeing people and circumstances. As Pooh mentioned, it is the feeling of wanting to be in control. I do that a lot. I am ashamed to admit that I find myself in an angry mood quite often. But for me, it’s always at someone, not God. Or so I thought. I have to agree with Petros who said: “if we really believe that “God is in control” and we find ourselves getting angry with people or frustrated with our circumstances, then those feelings are really directed at God anyway.”

    I know that I find myself angry because I’ve put God aside to concentrate on my self and my feelings and my emotions and my rights.

    I don’t like being angry though. After a short time, I want to be rid of it. I take it all to the Lord in prayer. I suppose it’s like taking a “spiritual” shower. And just like taking a regular shower every day, I need a “spiritual” shower every day as well.

    There is nothing so bad that He will turn you away. It is always us who turn away. Isaiah 30:15
    God can handle all our emotions. Isaiah 30:18

    FloridaSun mentioned a devotion on faith. It is the shield of faith that protects us from the flaming arrows of the evil one. As it says in the NIV Ephesians 6:16, we can extinguish those arrows with the shield of faith. If we drop the shield for just a moment, those flaming arrows come out of no where! It is so easy to be caught off guard.

  26. musicgirl61 says:

    thanks for letting this newbie chime in, everyone! I, too, have been blessed, and my thinking stimulated by this conversation.

  27. Toml5169 says:

    I have enjoyed and shed tears in reading these posts from day to day. The picture at tbe top is a perfect picture for this topic; shhhhh. Be silent, don’t tell, keep it to yourself or keep it in the family. The problem with being silent is found so clearly in Ps.32:1-4, I suffer greatly in my body and spirit. We all seem to agree that expressed anger and other emotions are far better than being silent. I love the picture of throwing a temper tantrum while God is holding me in His loving arms. When God speaks in Ps.32:8 we find a God who gives counsel with His eye upon us. David declares in verse 7 “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble.” If I am going to hide my sin, anger or other emotions God isn’t the one to hide from but to hide in. There in open honesty He will lead, guide, instruct and forgive. Then and only then are we prepared to deal correctly with the damage our reactions to our feelings may have caused; those times we all face that we can’t believe we did or said that again. No wonder we are encouraged to confess our sins to one another; it brings us to the hiding place of God. Be blessed today and a blessing.

  28. poohpity says:

    “Deal correctly with the damage our reactions to our feelings may have caused” reminded me of what I learned in church today about being covered with Christ. Col 3:7-11 talks about putting off the old self and Col:12-15 and adorning ourselves with our new life in Christ. I think it will help us realize in our anger if not admitted and dealt with it becomes a cancer that eats away at the very things we desire to hold dear to, our new life.

  29. poohpity says:

    ooops Col 3:12-15. :-)

  30. oneg2dblu says:

    Being real before being right?
    Doesn’t that actually mean being wrong, before being right! Using your Carnal Nature, before being Spiritual in nature? Living in disgrace, before accepting His Grace? Worldly, instead of Wise, and living for self before living for Him, or others?
    Just being yourself, instead of being just God’s!
    When you live in Sin, are you not living separated, outside, or against the Word of God?
    The sacred wholeness found in Christ, is that which empowered believer’s can claim, it comes when being yourself also aligns with God’s commands and written Word. That type of being, only comes through His Privision.
    Being a Real Empowered Christian, means you “are” capable of living right, through the surrendering self, and in the Believing, and the Obeying, of His Word.
    Or, do you live in prepetual disgrace for your Unbelief and Disobedience that has still captured you?
    Perhaps that would be, being real before being right!
    Get right with God may be an old saying, but it is never a wrong position for Righteousness, it is an essential one, Even our Faith! Gary

  31. lydiama says:

    Being real before being right. I like that. Growing up in church and mostly in Christian circles, I find that sometimes people don’t think it’s okay to be real with God — especially when it comes to expressing anger and frustration. Christians tend to “sugar-coat” everything about God.
    I’ve had many “disappointment with God” and people in life. As a consequence, I often feel like going to church is such a pressure because all one is allowed to do is praise, thank, say good things about God.
    I still remember vividly that weekend right after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I already had some issues that week. The earthquake and tsunami didn’t help, of course.
    That weekend, I remember that one of the songs sung during worship was about how high, deep, wide, long the love of God was. Having watched BBC and CNN all through the week, the images of devastation and the number of deaths flashed through my mind during that song. I just couldn’t agree.
    Being real with God and myself, I felt tempted to ask the congregation to sing that to the thousands of cold corpses lying somewhere in Japan. One question I always have is this: Why does God always get all the credit and never the blame?
    Of course, I can already answer my own question: Whom am I to question God? Who am I to say I know right from wrong and see 20/20?
    It’s these answers that make me shut my mouth even though I am steaming inside.

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