Are You Mad at God?

God, how could you let that drunk driver kill my son?

What about the baby born without arms and legs – where’s the good in that?

There’s just too much suffering in the world – if God exists, why does He allow it?

It’s all God’s fault—if there even is a God…or so an angry unbeliever will say with a certainty based on opinion alone. “How can a good God exist while allowing all the evil in the world?” they ask, bitterness tinging their voice. “Surely the suffering that surrounds us proves He doesn’t exist.”

I confess to a little confusion on my part, as well. No, not about the existence of God. My confusion is generated by the depth of anger and hostility unbelievers direct at a Being they claim doesn’t exist.

I’m also confused by the double standards and absence of logic in their arguments. For one thing, if the presence of evil proves the non-existence of God, then why doesn’t the presence of good prove that He does exist?

Many claim our own efforts are responsible for such good things as the beauty of love, the sustaining power of hope, or the refreshing encouragement of joy. But then why isn’t it reasonable to say the evil in this world is also generated by our own efforts?

Funny how some can say that when we make good choices, it’s to our credit, but when we make bad ones, it’s God’s fault. The sad, unvarnished truth is that we are broken people living in a broken world. Even when the first humans lived in a garden paradise, they still found a way to mess it up…and we’ve been carrying on the tradition ever since.

We’re broken by sin, but He offers healing for our spirits now and for our bodies later, if not now.

We’re separated from the One we need the most, but He offers to restore our relationship with Him based on the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.

We’ve spoiled this world, but He promises a new and better world to come.

We can blame God because we are tormented by cancer, heart disease, and AIDS.
We can be mad at God because murderers and rapists destroy what we cherish.
We can shake our fists at Him in response to the earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis that cause the earth to shudder.

Or…we can look at the mess we’ve made of ourselves and our world, and be grateful God hasn’t washed His hands of us once and for all.

God is good.

Don’t be mad at a God you’re not even sure exists.

Be glad for a God who loves us enough to fix what we’ve broken.

Double Standards

We may not like it, but we’re surrounded by double standards. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with them. We don’t like it when someone else espouses a double standard, but if it’s our idea….

  • Children shouldn’t curse. Adults do it all the time.
  • People must follow the law. Politicians exempt themselves from the laws they pass.
  • If you arrive a half hour late for a doctor’s appointment, they can charge you for a no-show. But how many times have patients sat in waiting rooms for hours, waiting for their long-overdue appointment?

Then there’s our recreation. Books and movies portray violence and illicit relationships, which we excuse in the name of entertainment. It’s fiction, so that makes it okay. Watching violent movies doesn’t encourage violence in children, or so they say. But if what we watch does not influence our behavior, why are some companies willing to spend eight million dollars for a 60-second Superbowl ad?

Another prime example is the novel, You Deserve Nothing, by Alexander Maksik. It’s a story about an American teacher at an international school in Paris who has an affair with one of his students. One reviewer, Brian Hurley, wrote that it was a “racy, convention-defying romance.” Then he learned the story was based on real life and said he felt his stomach twist. The reviewer experienced a sudden change in opinion, calling the book a “craven, embarrassing scandal.”

Hmmm…when it’s fiction, it’s “romance.” When it’s fact, it’s stomach-twisting and “craven.”

Pointed fingerBut before I point a finger at politicians, doctors, or book reviews, I need to look at myself. Because I’m the biggest proponent of double standards, especially related to God.

I want Him to judge evil-doers with finality.
I want Him to vindicate me against my enemies.
I want Him to withhold mercy…unless, of course, it applies to me.

Enter my double standard. When I sin, I want pardon.
When I offend someone else, I want forgiveness.
When I mess up, I want a second chance…and third, and fourth, and….well, you get the idea.

But God has one standard of holiness and He impartially applies it to all of us. Since we will never meet His standard on our own merit, He provided the solution. Jesus’ sacrifice applies to all who receive it for themselves.

No exceptions. No double standards.

Aren’t you glad?