I’ve written about it before, this idea that what you think about God is the most important thing about you.
But I can’t shake the sense that I need to say it again.
Because I get the feeling there are people out there–and maybe it’s you–who need to hear this truth loud and clear: God is not mad at you.
Sure, you’ve screwed up. We all have.
Maybe your past is stained and warped with the messy consequences of bad decisions and unwise choices. Perhaps you’re like me, convinced that unless everything you live perfectly, God will be mad or at the very least annoyed with you.
It’s a common misconception, God as the angry and powerful wizard. We shudder at the thought of approaching Him and we treat Him like a difficult family member, tiptoeing around on eggshells to avoid setting Him off. We expect Him to explode at our smallest infractions, because–more often than not–that’s how we are with each another.
How do I say this gently and still get my point across?
God is not a man.
God is not made in our image.
We are made in His.
- God does not blow His top every time you mess up.
- God is not waiting with baited breath to squash you and send disaster the moment He sees you commit a sin.
- God is not an irate volcano monster whose fury must be appeased.
There is such a thing as God’s wrath, yes. But His wrath is directed at sin and evil and its effect on this world, not at you.
A picture of God’s wrath
Last weekend, my husband and I watched the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Revenant. It’s a gory film with some harsh themes throughout. But the scene that was hardest to watch by far? The grizzly bear attack.
The main character, Hugh Glass, is walking quietly through the woods and glimpses two bear cubs through the trees. Before he has a chance to get away, the mama bear comes from behind and mauls him with incredible force. She does not stop until she believes him dead. As she begins to walk away, Glass aims his rifle with the little strength he has left and shoots at the bear. Infuriated, she comes back and attacks again. She claws and bites, drags and pounds him into the ground. Standing atop Glass’s torn body, the grizzly roars fiercely. She is determined to protect her cubs at all costs, and this mere human is clearly no match for her.
Reader, this is what God’s wrath is like. God is not angry with you any more than that momma bear was angry with her cubs.
- He is angry toward anything that would pull you away from his safety, away from his plan, away from his embrace.
- He is angry toward that which threatens to destroy you, toward the sin and the cursedness of this world that would pull you apart limb by limb, crush your heart, soul and body and leave you for dead.
- He is angry toward any force or voice or idea that whispers to you that you don’t matter, that you aren’t good enough, that you are nothing and nobody.
When sin and evil threaten His children, God pours out His wrath.
So you see, in this scene, you are the bear cub. God is the mama bear. Sin is the man with the gun.
And boy is God angry about sin.
But God is not mad at you.
In fact, the very reason He sent His Son was to show His great love, mercy and forgiveness. He allowed Jesus to take all the punishment and heartache the world had to give, all that the enemy wants to heap upon your shoulders.
- God adores you.
- God smiles upon you.
- God loves you.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. He loves you. He created you. He’s crazy about you.
So will you choose to believe it today?
Because it’s time to embrace the truth. To breathe it in and let it give life to your body and soul.
God is not mad at you.
Not even the tiniest bit.
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