ANGER…. we know it’s not from God. So where do we go from there?

26 Jun

I am caught in the tight, tight grip of anger right now. I wish I could tell the blog world exactly why, but the truth is… it’s personal & some things just aren’t meant to be shared with the world. But to clarify, I am mad at myself! I have been in such a good place with God for a while now…. walking in stride with His Word & His direction to me individually. I had slightly fallen away, purely out of my own rebellion about a year ago, but soon after, God did something amazing in my life that quickly forced me to redirect, refocus, & reexamine what I was doing & where it would lead me. From that point, I realized God’s amazing power to pull us back to Him, sometimes WHILE we’re walking away. I guess, I had always heard that God would not remain where He is not welcome, that He has given us free will & will never force us to stay with Him, etc. But I have to say, from my own personal experience, I believe that God loved me so much that He refused to let me go & He was STILL at work in my life even though I was working against Him. & for that, I can never fully show my appreciation (except of course by giving Him myself completely!). I said that, to say this….

The most hurtful, most disturbing, worst thing I could ever do, is to draw someone AWAY from God through my own trials, struggles, & rebellion. I don’t think I could feel worse about myself! I never, EVER want to be in the “God & I” bubble… where I’m so focused on what God is doing in my life that I fail to see what He’s doing or what I’m doing in other’s lives. Now granted, I’m not even close to being the same person that I was a year ago while going through this rebellious phase, but still, that’s no excuse. At the end of it all, I was so in awe over God & what He had done in my life, that I failed to see the relationship that I hurt between a person & God through my rough patch. It’s not as if they could see the glory of God’s deliverance & revelation for me! All they were was affected… negatively. & for that, they did the opposite, they pulled away from God. Now, they can’t seem to find the place they were before in Christ… the zeal, hearing His beautiful voice, feeling His presence… experiencing Him. All because of my screw up! Even though God came through for me in a MAJOR way & I can’t help but give Him so much glory & praise for it, I’ve left someone feeling unconnected & at this point, unable to see that glory & that major action.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse about myself! I am supposed to be a disciple of Christ… God’s love flowing out through ME. I am constantly looking for opportunities to witness to unbelievers & snatching them up, but what about taking away the closeness of God of an already Believer? I feel like God’s most amazing revelation & transformation in my life was at the expense of someone else’s relationhip with Him. That has to be the very last thing I could EVER want to come from me. Even though it was a year ago & God has changed my heart in this particular area in a way that neither I or this third party could have done alone… I’m STILL left with me being SO much closer to God & another person being farther away. & the worst part is… I can’t do anything about someone else retrieving their zeal & excitement for our Lord. I feel totally responsible, whether it was their fault for making the decision to turn away from God instead of to Him, or mine for being the source of an opening for satan to steal God’s connection to their heart. Either way, I opened the door by my own rebellion!

I’m so angry with myself. I mean, REALLY angry. To the point of wanting to practically turn into a mute (one of my ways of dealing with emotional issues), to hitting things, to going outside & walking out the anger (while listening to my iPod)… which could take many miles, to (& this is my most famous of all ways of dealing with these sort of issues) not eating for days. Yes, I am an emotional un-eater.

So my question to all of the Christian’s out there is this:

How do I get over this? How do get over such raging anger at myself for doing such a disgrace to my Lord?! I’ve learned how to get over offenses & forgiveness & all of that jazz, but what about a spirit of anger toward myself for my own actions? It certainly doesn’t come from God… so how do I find peace in this situation? It would be different if I was mad at someone else… I get over those situations easy, but what about the disappointment, the failure, the “poor pitiful me”, the pure anger AT MYSELF! I’m almost afraid that this anger at myself is going to cause me to go into a state of not being worthy to be in such a good relationship with God (& that warrants all types of negative outcomes & feelings). And will God deal with me on this?… because right now I feel as though I’ve failed Him & I’ve failed myself as who I want to be in Christ. I mean, honestly, being responsible for pulling someone away from God is serious!!

Help!

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6 Responses to “ANGER…. we know it’s not from God. So where do we go from there?”

  1. Agape June 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    I completely understand how you feel and have even gone through the same emotions (not in relation to pulling someone away, but rather, being angry at me). As I heard so many times, we are our worst emotional enemy to deal with. One of the things that was the hardest for me was that I had to mentally make the distinction that me physically (earthly) is completely separate from what I strive to be/am spiritually. I found that the anger 1) comes from the devil 2) was almost like an emotional wagon ride that I couldn’t get off at times and 3) at times, completely uncontrollable. I first had to make the realization that my emotions (while valid) were not who I really was-I was a women of God, an overcomer, and achiever, a Proverbs 31 woman and that I could make it through it. The next thing I had to do is constantly speak against those angry emotions rising in me-it’s like I could feel them coming on and I sometimes it was too late, what was done was done and I was already so angry it was crazy so I would work out like crazy and/or withdraw and just be angry. But as time progressed, I got better at realizing what was what and as soon as I started speaking against it and seriously delivering myself to God it began to get better but the truth is…I truly believe that you go through seasons with your emotions. For some reason there are some seasons that it’s all you can do to keep from blasting everyone and then in 2 days you’re the exact opposite where you want to “nest” with everyone.
    All I can say is hang in there girl. We love you and most importantly, God loves you.

  2. Steve Caronna June 27, 2009 at 3:26 am #

    Being a pastor for over 30 years, I’ve had to deal with this my whole life. Although I haven’t had deal with your particular set of circumstances, there is a common theme to what you are dealing with,as well as what I have dealt with, and that is that the devil is looking for a way to get to YOU. If he can’t get to you directly, he will do it through someone else. If we learn to walk in Prov. 29:11 toward people, then he’s going to use those that we’ve disappointed to make us feel badly.

    I’ve had plenty of opportunities for this to happen in my life, especially early in my walk with God. It sort of goes like this: When we first become Christians, all of the older Christians around us expect us to mess up some, because of course, we’re new to all of this. We even expect to make some mistakes ourselves. But as people begin to make observations as to how much we’re growing in God, and how inspired they are by us, we don’t want to let those people down. When we do mess up, we know that God will forgive us, but how does it affect everybody else?

    Yes, we do need to be good examples to our friends and family. yes, it is possible to be a stumbling block to others. But most of the time when we take responsibility for why someone else is not doing well Spiritually, we are taking too much upon ourselves. God didn’t design us to carry that. Be careful that you don’t overestimate your influence in someone else’s life. They are responsible for themselves, not you. If you have wronged them, apologize and ask for forgiveness. From there, they have to deal with it, and it’s a part of THEIR walk that they must overcome…if it wasn’t because of you, (and I know that hurts), then it would be because of someone else.

    I’ve been on both sides of this. I have been EXTREMELY disappointed early in my walk with God in those who were supposed to be my examples. Then as I got older in God, it was my turn to be the disappointment for someone else, and I hated that part. I’d rather someone be a bad example for me and I have to forgive them than be the one who is the bad example, but that’s what being the Body Of Christ is.

    On my first Sunday at Living Word, I made a deal with the Church: “If you’ll forgive me when I mess up, I’ll forgive you when you mess up, and let’s all grow in God together. That’s the deal you have not only with me, but with ALL of the other believers in your life. Sounds like this is the time to pull that card.

    • vanessathompson June 29, 2009 at 2:42 am #

      Thank you soooo much Pastor Steve. That last paragraph just did it for me! What an awesome way to except one another’s messes. You are such a great Pastor. I don’t know where I would be without YOU standing on that platform sewing the Word into my heart every week!

  3. jennifertobler June 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm #

    You are not alone, believe me. I’ve been through this, too. There was a time in my life when I walked away from God and took someone with me. On the surface everything was fine, we looked like we were still praising God and living for Him… but that wasn’t the reality. And when it all hit the fan, I ran back to God, but he didn’t. And to this day I don’t think he is following God. It has taken me a very long time to work through those emotions, and its something that I still work on, honestly. But here’s what I’ve learned:
    1. Anger in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, just as any emotion isn’t a bad thing. It is what you choose to do with that emotion that determines its value. For example, it is good to be angry seeing someone abused and that anger leads you to stand up for them. But just seeing an injustice and being angry at the person isn’t helpful. The key there is your CHOICE. (Even Jesus got angry, but He took that anger and chose to do something productive with it) Emotions come and go, that is their nature. You control them and tell them what to do. What are you doing with your anger? Are you choosing to let it motivate you to only uplift and encourage others in their faith; or are you letting it come between you and God. Again, it’s your choice. God is awesome that way and lets us choose, and as the Bible says, “choose life”.
    2. Take that anger and direct it where it belongs. The devil is the stupid one who tempted you AND that friend to walk down the wrong path. So don’t get mad at yourself, get mad at that little twerp who led you astray. All you gotta do to get back at him is to remind him of the end of the story and how horrible his fate will be. Then smile in his ugly little face 🙂
    3. Pastor Connie is awesome and one of the things she teaches is that you can only control what you have authority over. You cannot control how your friend reacted to anything. Your friend’s choices are theirs, not yours. You do not have authority over them, so you cannot take responsibility for their choices. All you can do is repent, then move on. Its not easy, but you gotta do it.
    I hope that helps. I love you so much and am so glad your family is in my life. You are a strong woman of God and an inspiration to many. Just keep walking towards God (no matter how small the steps may feel), and you’ll be fine.

    • vanessathompson June 29, 2009 at 2:45 am #

      Jenn,
      I commented to your post via FB… I hope you received it, but what you said is what helped me the most. You helped me to address the anger & not the situation. I knew I wasn’t responsible for where this person goes from here, but that didn’t take away the anger of what had already been done. Thank you for showing me the way. I almost let this put me in a baaaad place & after I read your comment… I went STRAIGHT to God! & we both know…. God is so faithful!

  4. lnfritzky June 28, 2009 at 4:59 am #

    sheesh, thats a tough one – and i completely empathize – jen and allison probly put it better than i could manage to at 1 in the morning – and jen was right on target with one of my thoughts that you are only responsible for what you have authority over, and that person’s personal relationship with Christ is something only THEY have authority or responsiblity over.

    one thing that i might add though, concerning those relationships that we have with people in which we share a spiritual connection. – first of all, we are all human and we cannot grow without growing through challenges and even though sometimes we may not initially address those challenges properly, hopefully we will always learn from them and grow from them.

    but,.. imagine a child. one day they will have to be let into the world to experience its challenges on their own, and as a parent we try to shield them from anything that breaks the facade of childhood that we have so successfully offered. but soon enough they will have to break out of that nice comfy place and face reality.

    i have found that it is the same with the people who we pour ourselves into spiritually. that newness wears off one day because like childhood it is not reality, and they will have to learn to face their own challenges and learn Who to turn to when they are in need.

    you are such a fantastic woman, vanessa. and i love your heart – my prayers are with you – i hope you find peace in this situation.

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